Skip to main content

A Profile of US-Mexico Border Mobility Among a Stratified Random Sample of Hispanics Living in the El Paso-Juarez Area


Examination of border-specific characteristics such as trans-border mobility and transborder health service illuminates the heterogeneity of border Hispanics and may provide greater insight toward understanding differential health behaviors and status among these populations. In this study, we create a descriptive profile of the concept of trans-border mobility by exploring the relationship between mobility status and a series of demographic, economic and socio-cultural characteristics among mobile and non-mobile Hispanics living in the El Paso-Juarez border region. Using a two-stage stratified random sampling design, bilingual interviewers collected survey data from border residents (n = 1,002). Findings show that significant economic, cultural, and behavioral differences exist between mobile and non-mobile respondents. While non-mobile respondents were found to have higher social economic status than their mobile counterparts, mobility across the border was found to offer less acculturated and poorer Hispanics access to alternative sources of health care and other services.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.


  1. 1.

    Doyle TJ, Bryan RT. Infectious disease morbidity in the US region bordering Mexico, 1990–1998. J Infect Dis. 2000;182:1503–10.

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    United States-Mexico Border Health Commission (USMBHC): Border lives: health Status in the United States-Mexico Border Region 2010. Available at:

  3. 3.

    Escarce JJ, Morales LS, Rumbaut RG. The health status and health behaviors of Hispanics: In: Tienda M, Mitchell F, editors. Hispanics and the Future of America. Washington: National Academy Press; 2006: p. 362–409.

  4. 4.

    Martinez OJ. Border people: life and society in the US-Mexico Borderlands. Tucson: University of Arizona Press; 1996.

  5. 5.

    Byrd TL, Law JG. Cross-border utilization of health care services by United States residents living near the Mexican border. Revista Panamericana de Salud Publica. 2009;26(2):95–100.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    El Paso Department of Public Health ELDPH. Annual report 2009: where health knows no borders. El Paso; 2009.

  7. 7.

    Triandis HC, Martin G, Betancourt H, Lisansky J, Chang B. Dimensions of familism among Hispanics and mainstream navy recruits. Technical Report No. 14: Department of Psychology. Champaign: University of Illinois; 1982.

    Google Scholar 

  8. 8.

    Comas-Diaz L. Mental health needs of Latinos with professional status: In: Garcia JG, Zea MC, editors. Psychological interventions and research with Latino populations. Needham Heights: Allyn & Bacon; 1997: 142–165.

  9. 9.

    Marin G, Triandis HC. Allocentrism as an important characteristic of the behavior of Latin Americans and Hispanics: In: Diaz-Guerrero R, editor. Cross-cultural and national studies in social psychology. Amsterdam: North Holland; 1985: 85–104.

  10. 10.

    Marin G, Marin BV. Research with Hispanic populations. Newbury Park, CA: Sage; 1991.

    Google Scholar 

  11. 11.

    Santiago-Rivera AL, Arredondo P, Gallardo-Cooper M. Counseling Latinos and la Familia: a practical guide. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications; 2002.

    Google Scholar 

  12. 12.

    Duleep HO, Dowhan DJ. Research on Immigrant Earnings. Soc Secur Bull. 2008;68:31–50.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  13. 13.

    Gonzalez A. The impact of the 2001/2002 economic recession on Hispanic workers: a cross-sectional comparison of three generations. Washington: Pew Hispanic Center; 2002.

  14. 14.

    Escarce JJ, Kapur K. Access to and quality of health care: In: Tienda M, Mitchell F, editors. Hispanics and the Future of America. Washington: National Academy Press; 2006: 410–46.

  15. 15.

    Menijivar C. The ties that heal: Guatemalan immigrant women’s networks and medical treatment. Int Migr Rev. 2002;36:437–66.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. 16.

    Macias EP, Morales LS. Crossing the border for health care. J Health Care Poor Underserved. 2001;12(1):77–87.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  17. 17.

    Escobedo LG, Cardenas VM. Utilization and purchase of medical care services in Mexico by residents in the United States of America, 1998–1999. Rev Panam Salud Publica. 2006;19(5):300–5.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  18. 18.

    Bastida E, Brown HS, Pagan JA. Persistent disparities in the use of health care along the US-Mexico Border: an ecological perspective. Am J Public Health. 2008;98(11):1987–95.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  19. 19.

    Barry D. Border Towns Across Rio, Worlds Apart in Drug War. The New York Times; 2010. (February 14: A20).

  20. 20.

    McKinley JC. Two Sides of a Border: one violence, one peaceful. The New York Times; 2009. (January 23: A1).

Download references


The project was supported by Award Number P20MD002287 from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent offical views of the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities or the National Institutes of Health.

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to L. M. Lapeyrouse.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Lapeyrouse, L.M., Morera, O., Heyman, J.M.C. et al. A Profile of US-Mexico Border Mobility Among a Stratified Random Sample of Hispanics Living in the El Paso-Juarez Area. J Immigrant Minority Health 14, 264–271 (2012).

Download citation


  • Border health
  • Health care utilization
  • Health disparities
  • Hispanic
  • Trans-border mobility