Socioeconomic Status and the Physical and Mental Health of Arab and Chaldean Americans in Michigan

Abstract

Research that explains health of Arab and Chaldean Americans relative to the health of non-Arab White Americans is limited but steadily increasing. This study considers whether socioeconomic status moderates the relationship between race/ethnicity and physical and mental health. Data come from a state representative sample of Arab and Chaldean Americans—the 2013 Michigan Behavioral Risk Factor Survey and the 2013 Michigan Arab/Chaldean Behavioral Risk Factor Survey (N = 12,837 adults with 536 Arab/Chaldean Americans). Structural equation models examine whether socioeconomic status, operationalized as educational attainment, moderates the relationship between Arab/Chaldean identity and health, and whether physical activity, access to healthcare, and depression mediate the relationship between educational attainment and health. Results indicate that while Arab/Chaldean Americans have poor health relative to non-Arab White Americans, these differences are largely explained by educational differences. Depression, access to healthcare, and physical activity mediate the relationship between socioeconomic status and health of Arab/Chaldean Americans.

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Correspondence to Goleen Samari.

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Samari, G., McNall, M., Lee, K. et al. Socioeconomic Status and the Physical and Mental Health of Arab and Chaldean Americans in Michigan. J Immigrant Minority Health 21, 497–507 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10903-018-0768-8

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Keywords

  • Arab Americans
  • Chaldean Americans
  • Physical health
  • Mental health
  • Structural equation models
  • BRFSS