Demography

, Volume 48, Issue 2, pp 425–436

Simulating the Effects of Acculturation and Return Migration on the Maternal and Infant Health of Mexican Immigrants in the United States: A Research Note

Article

Abstract

A significant body of research on minority health shows that although Latino immigrants experience unexpectedly favorable outcomes in maternal and infant health, this advantage deteriorates with increased time of residence in the United States. This study evaluates the underlying assumptions of two competing hypotheses that explain this paradox. The first hypothesis attributes this deterioration to possible negative effects of acculturation and behavioral adjustments made by immigrants while living in the United States, and the second hypothesis attributes this deterioration to the mechanism of selective return migration. Hypothetical probabilistic models are simulated for assessing the relationship between duration and birth outcomes based on the assumptions of these two hypotheses. The results are compared with the empirical research on the maternal and infant health of first-generation, Mexican-origin immigrant women in the United States. The analysis provides evidence that a curvilinear pattern of duration and birth outcomes can be explained by the joint effects of both acculturation and selective return migration in which the former affects health status over the longer durations, and the latter affects health status at shorter durations.

Keywords

Acculturation Selection Return migration Immigration Maternal health 

Supplementary material

13524_2011_17_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (93 kb)
ESM 1(PDF 93.3 kb)

References

  1. Abraido-Lanza, A. F., Dohrenwend, B. P., Ng-Mak, D. S., & Turner, J. B. (1999). The Latino mortality paradox: A test of the “salmon bias” and healthy migrant hypotheses. American Journal of Public Health, 89, 1543–1548.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Acevedo-Garcia, D., Soobader, M.-J., & Berkman, L. F. (2007). Low birthweight among US Hispanic/Latino subgroups: The effect of maternal foreign-born status and education. Social Science & Medicine, 65, 2503–2516.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Ahmed, B. J. G. R. (1994). Estimates of emigration of the foreign-born population: 1980–1990 (Working Paper No. 9). Washington, DC: Population Division, U.S. Census Bureau.Google Scholar
  4. Akresh, I. R., & Frank, R. (2008). Health selection among new immigrants. American Journal of Public Health, 98, 2058–2064.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Alba, R., & Nee, V. (1997). Rethinking assimilation theory for a new era of immigration. International Migration Review, 31, 826–874.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Balcazar, H., & Krull, J. L. (1999). Determinants of birth-weight outcomes among Mexican-American women: Examining conflicting results about acculturation. Ethnicity & Disease, 9, 410–422.Google Scholar
  7. Callister, L. C., & Birkhead, A. (2002). Acculturation and perinatal outcomes in Mexican immigrant childbearing women: An integrative review. Journal of Perinatal & Neonatal Nursing, 16(3), 22–38.Google Scholar
  8. Ceballos, M., & Palloni, A. (2010). Maternal and infant health of Mexican immigrants in the USA: The effect of acculturation, duration, and selection return migration. Ethnicity & Health, 15, 377–396.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Collins, J. W., Jr., & David, R. J. (2004). Pregnancy outcome of Mexican-American women: The effect of generational residence in the United States. Ethnicity & Disease, 14, 317–321.Google Scholar
  10. de la Rosa, I. A. (2002). Perinatal outcomes among Mexican Americans: A review of an epidemiological paradox. Ethnicity & Disease, 12, 480–487.Google Scholar
  11. Durden, T. E. (2007). Nativity, duration of residence, citizenship, and access to health care for Hispanic children. International Migration Review, 41, 537–545.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. English, P. B., Kharrazi, M., & Guendelman, S. (1997). Pregnancy outcomes and risk factors in Mexican Americans: The effect of language use and mother’s birthplace. Ethnicity & Disease, 7, 229–240.Google Scholar
  13. Goldman, N. (2001). Social inequalities in health disentangling the underlying mechanisms. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 954, 118–139.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Guendelman, S., & English, P. B. (1995). Effect of United States residence on birth outcomes among Mexican immigrants: An exploratory study. American Journal of Epidemiology, 142(Suppl.), S30–S38.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Harley, K., & Eskenazi, B. (2006). Time in the United States, social support and health behaviors during pregnancy among women of Mexican descent. Social Science & Medicine, 62, 3048–3061.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Hogan, H. (1993). The 1990 post-enumeration survey: Operations and results. Journal of the American Statistical Association, 88, 1047–1060.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Hummer, R. A., Powers, D. A., Pullum, S. G., Gossman, G. L., & Frisbie, W. P. (2007). Paradox found (again): Infant mortality among the Mexican-origin population in the United States. Demography, 44, 441–457.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Jasso, G., Massey, D. S., Rosenzweig, M. R., & Smith, J. P. (2004). Immigrant health: Selectivity and acculturation. In R. A. Bulatao, B. Cohen, & N. B. Anderson (Eds.), Critical perspectives on racial and ethnic differences in health in late life (pp. 227–266). Washington, DC: National Academies Press.Google Scholar
  19. Lara, M., Gamboa, C., Kahramanian, M. I., Morales, L. S., & Bautista, D. E. (2005). Acculturation and Latino health in the United States: A review of the literature and its sociopolitical context. Annual Review of Public Health, 26, 367–397.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. LeClere, F. B., Jensen, L., & Biddlecom, A. E. (1994). Health care utilization, family context, and adaptation among immigrants to the United States. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 35, 370–384.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Marin, G. (1992). Issues in the measurements of acculturation among Hispanics. In K. F. Geisinger (Ed.), Psychological testing of Hispanics (pp. 235–251). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Marin, G., & Gamba, R. J. (1996). A new measure of acculturation for Hispanics: The Bidimensional Scale for Hispanics (Bas). Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Science, 18, 297–316.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Martin, J. A., Hamilton, B. E., Sutton, P. D., Ventura, S. J., Menacker, F., & Kirmeyer, S. (2006). Births: Final data for 2004. National Vital Statistics Reports, 55, 1–101.Google Scholar
  24. Massey, D., Durand, J., & Malone, N. J. (2002). Breakdown: Failure in the post-1986 U.S. immigration system. In Beyond smoke and mirrors: Mexican immigration in an era of economic integration (pp. 105–141). New York: Russell Sage Foundation.Google Scholar
  25. Massey, D. S., & Singer, A. (1995). New estimates of undocumented Mexican migration and the probability of apprehension. Demography, 32, 203–213.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Palloni, A., & Arias, E. (2004). Paradox lost: Explaining the Hispanic adult mortality advantage. Demography, 41, 385–415.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Palloni, A., & Ewbank, D. C. (2004). Selection processes in the study of racial and ethnic differentials in adult health and mortality. In R. A. Bulatao, B. Cohen, & N. B. Anderson (Eds.), Critical perspectives on racial and ethnic differences in health in late life (pp. 171–226). Washington, DC: National Academies Press.Google Scholar
  28. Palloni, A., & Morenoff, J. D. (2001). Interpreting the paradoxical in the Hispanic paradox: Demographic and epidemiologic approaches. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 954, 140–174.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Reyes, B. I. (2001). Immigrant trip duration: The case of immigrants from western Mexico. International Migration Review, 35, 1185–1204.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Robinson, J. G., Ahmed, B., Gupta, P. D., & Woodrow, K. A. (1993). Estimation of population coverage in the 1990 United States Census based on demographic analysis. Journal of the American Statistical Association, 88, 1061–1071.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Ruiz, R. J., Dolbier, C. L., & Fleschler, R. (2006). The relationships among acculturation, biobehavioral risk, stress, corticotropin-releasing hormone, and poor birth outcomes in Hispanic women. Ethnicity & Disease, 16, 926–932.Google Scholar
  32. Rumbaut, R. G. (1997). Assimilation and its discontents: Between rhetoric and reality. International Migration Review, 31, 923–960.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Scribner, R., & Dwyer, J. H. (1989). Acculturation and low birthweight among Latinos in the Hispanic HHANES. American Journal of Public Health, 79, 1263–1267.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Van Hook, J., Zhang, W. W., Bean, F. D., & Passel, J. S. (2006). Foreign-born emigration: A new approach and estimates based on matched CPS files. Demography, 43, 361–382.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Ventura, S. J., & Taffel, S. M. (1985). Childbearing characteristics of U.S.- and foreign-born Hispanic mothers. Public Health Reports, 100, 647–652.Google Scholar
  36. Warren, R., & Peck, J. M. (1980). Foreign-born emigration from the United States: 1960 to 1970. Demography, 17, 71–84.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Williams, R. L., Binkin, N. J., & Clingman, E. J. (1986). Pregnancy outcomes among Spanish-surname women in California. American Journal of Public Health, 76, 387–391.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Wolff, C. B., & Portis, M. (1996). Smoking, acculturation, and pregnancy outcome among Mexican Americans. Health Care for Women International, 17, 563–573.Google Scholar
  39. Zambrana, R. E., Scrimshaw, S. C., Collins, N., & Dunkel-Schetter, C. (1997). Prenatal health behaviors and psychosocial risk factors in pregnant women of Mexican origin: The role of acculturation. American Journal of Public Health, 87, 1022–1026.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Population Association of America 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyUniversity of Nebraska–LincolnLincolnUSA

Personalised recommendations