, Volume 51, Issue 3-4, pp 468-479
Date: 12 Jan 2013

Intersections Between Nativity, Ethnic Density, and Neighborhood SES: Using an Ethnic Enclave Framework to Explore Variation in Puerto Ricans’ Physical Health

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Abstract

Although past research has demonstrated a “health disadvantage” for Puerto Rican adults, very little is known about correlates of health among this group. Given Puerto Ricans’ unique experiences of migration and settlement, an ethnic enclave framework that integrates nativity, ethnic density, and neighborhood SES may offer insight into factors influencing Puerto Ricans’ health. This study uses a sample of 449 adult mainland- and island-born Puerto Ricans living in New York City and Chicago. The data, collected as a part of the MIDUS Survey of Minority Groups, are stratified by neighborhood ethnic density and neighborhood SES, allowing for the examination of the individual and joint influences of neighborhood characteristics on physical health. Results revealed that ethnic density and neighborhood SES were not independently or interactively related to physical health for mainland-born Puerto Ricans. However, the interaction between ethnic density and neighborhood SES was related to self-reported health, functional limitations, and health symptoms for island-born Puerto Ricans. Island-born Puerto Ricans living in ethnically dense, low SES neighborhoods reported worse health than island-born Puerto Ricans living in other types of neighborhoods. This may be a result of isolation from resources both within and outside the neighborhood.