A different look at the epidemiological paradox: self-rated health, perceived social cohesion, and neighborhood immigrant context

Eileen E S Bjornstrom, Danielle C Kuhl
Social Science & Medicine 2014, 120: 118-25
We use data from Waves 1 and 2 of the Los Angeles Family and Neighborhood Survey to examine the effects of neighborhood immigrant concentration, race-ethnicity, nativity, and perceived cohesion on self-rated physical health. We limit our sample to adults whose addresses do not change between waves in order to explore neighborhood effects. Foreign-born Latinos were significantly less likely to report fair or poor health than African Americans and U.S.-born whites, but did not differ from U.S.-born Latinos. The main effect of immigrant concentration was not significant, but it interacted with nativity status to predict health: U.S.-born Latinos benefited more from neighborhood immigrant concentration than foreign-born Latinos. Perceived cohesion predicted health but immigrant concentration did not moderate the effect. Finally, U.S.-born Latinos differed from others in the way cohesion is associated with their health. Results are discussed within the framework of the epidemiological paradox.

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