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APHA Scientific Session and Event Listing

Segmented assimilation and Latino children's health behavior

Jinsook Kim, PhD, MPH, DDS1, Anne R. Pebley, PhD1, and Noreen J. Goldman, DSc2. (1) Department of Community Health Sciences, School of Public Health, University of California, Los Angeles, 337 Charles E. Young Drive, East, Public Policy Bldg., Rm. 4284, Los Angeles, CA 90095, 310-206-2558, jinskchs@ucla.edu, (2) Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University, 243 Wallace Hall, Princeton, NJ 08544

Problem: We test the segmented assimilation hypothesis, which suggests that poor minority immigrants are forced to settle in poor neighborhoods and that exposure to these neighborhoods leads their children to develop poorer health behaviors. We examine ever smoking, ever drinking, ever using drugs, and ever having sex. Methods: We used individual (n=1,264, ages 9 to 17) and family (n=972) data from the 2000-2001 Wave 1 Los Angeles Family and Neighborhood Survey and neighborhood data from the 2000 Census (n=65). Multilevel logistic regression was used to determine the likelihood of living in disadvantaged neighborhoods and that of risky behaviors among 4 groups (white, African American, second generation Latino, and 3rd or higher generation Latino), controlling for individual and family characteristics. Results: Latinos are more likely to live in very poor neighborhoods than whites with similar characteristics. Although increasing family socioeconomic status (SES) significantly decreases the chances of living in poor neighborhoods for whites and African Americans, Latinos tend to live in poor neighborhoods regardless of SES. Living in a very poor and predominantly Latino neighborhood is associated with a greater likelihood of having had sex. Among Latinos, only second generation children show less drinking and drug use than whites. Conclusions: Following findings partially support the segmented assimilation hypothesis: residential segregation of Latino families in disadvantaged neighborhoods regardless of immigration status and SES; an association between living in disadvantaged neighborhoods and sexual behavior; and a greater likelihood of some risky behaviors among 3rd or higher generation than among second generation Latino children.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Children and Adolescents, Health Behavior

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Not Answered

Handout (.ppt format, 209.5 kb)

Social Epidemiology: Health Impacts Starting at Conception

The 134th Annual Meeting & Exposition (November 4-8, 2006) of APHA