Toward a Population Health Model of Segmented Assimilation

The Case of Low Birth-Weight in Los Angeles

Published in: Sociological Perspectives, v. 50, no. 3, Fall 2007, p. 445-468

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2007

by Brian Karl Finch, Nelson Lim, William Perez, D. Phuong Do

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The authors adapt the segmented assimilation theory to a model of population health, which posits that assimilation is actually harmful to migrants' health. The authors also specify models of individual and contextual factors to indirectly test the theory of segmented assimilation--a theory that posits interactions between individual and residential circumstances. Using Year 2000 vital statistics data merged with 2000 U.S. census data from Los Angeles County, the authors model the probability of being born low birth weight among the native and foreign born. Results confirm an immigrant advantage at the individual level and protective effects of immigrant coresidence at the neighborhood level.

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