261934 Recency of immigration and bankruptcy: Is health a mediating factor?

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Paul D. Creswell, BA , Department of Population Health Sciences, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Madison, WI
Debanjana Chatterjee, MA , Population Health Sciences, University of Wisconsin Madison, Madison, WI
Whitney P. Witt, PhD, MPH , Department of Population Health Sciences, School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI
Background: Research has shown better health among recent American immigrants. Healthcare expense has been linked to bankruptcy. However, the connections between generational status, health, and bankruptcy have not been assessed. Methods: Using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY79) (N=6,749), we explored if generational status was associated with bankruptcy between 1979 and 2004 and then whether or not onset of health limitations were a mediating factor. Multinomial logistic regression analyses were conducted to predict the likelihood that of bankruptcy between 1979 and 2004. Results: First generation Americans were significantly less likely to report a bankruptcy than their third generation counterparts (OR: 0.64; CI: 0.470.85) controlling for baseline measures of respondent sex, age, race, poverty status, urbanicity, intellectual aptitude, parents' education, foreign language spoken at home, and whether or not participants' fathers had worked the entire previous year. Second generation Americans were also less likely to report a bankruptcy than their third generation counterparts (OR: 0.83; CI: 0.691.00). The inclusion of an indicator of health limitations did not change the effect of generational status, but was independently related to bankruptcy. Conclusions: Recent immigrants have a decreased probability of declaring bankruptcy that is not accounted for by other demographic characteristics. Health status appeared to have an independent effect on bankruptcy. Future research should consider which factors may reduce individuals' propensity to declare bankruptcy. This will assist policy makers in the creation of bankruptcy prevention strategies.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe the relationship between generational status and bankruptcy and explain why health does not appear to mediate this relationship.

Keywords: Immigrants, Consumer Protection

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a dissertator in the Department of Population Health Sciences at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. I have substantial experience with statistical analyses of health and demographic data. My particular area of expertise is the relationship between health, debt, and bankruptcy.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.