Resurgent ethnicity among Asian Americans: ethnic neighborhood context and health

Emily Walton
Journal of Health and Social Behavior 2012, 53 (3): 378-94
In this study I investigate the associations of neighborhood socioeconomic and social environments with the health of Asian Americans living in both Asian ethnic neighborhoods and non-Asian neighborhoods. I use a sample of 1962 Asian Americans from the National Latino and Asian American Study (NLAAS, 2003-04). Three key findings emerge. First, absolute levels of socioeconomic and social resources do not differ greatly between the Asian ethnic neighborhoods and non-Asian neighborhoods in which Asian Americans live. Second, the ethnic neighborhood context conditions the effects of neighborhood education on health so that higher neighborhood education is related to better self-rated health among Asian Americans only when they live in Asian ethnic neighborhoods. Finally, the social environment, measured by everyday discrimination and social cohesion, does not differ in its health effects for individuals living in Asian ethnic and non-Asian neighborhoods. Together, these findings illuminate the complex ways that racial and ethnic neighborhood concentration impacts health.

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