A Moving Paradox: A Binational Comparison of Residential Mobility and Health

Jennifer E. Glick, Arizona State University
Scott T. Yabiku, Arizona State University
Steven A. Haas, Arizona State University

This paper takes a unique approach to the study of nativity differentials in obesity and self reported health. Mexican origin immigrants and US-born Spanish-speaking residents in one urban setting in the United States are compared to residents in a similar urban setting in Mexico. Our data allow for the test of standard indicators used to proxy acculturation - duration of residence in the United States and home language use- among Mexican immigrants in the United States. But we go beyond this to examine residential mobility among all three groups (Mexican-Americans, Mexican immigrants and Mexicans in Mexico). Thus, we can examine whether health differentials are mediated not only by immigration, but also by residential mobility. In other words, we ask if moving is bad for your health regardless of whether the move takes individuals across international borders.

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Presented in Session 41: Immigrant Generations and Mobility