The Influence of Own and Origin Socioeconomic Status on BMI Trajectories by Immigrant Generation during the Transition to Adulthood

Elizabeth H. Baker, Pennsylvania State University

Research on immigrant health generally finds better health among the first generation and declining health with subsequent acculturation; despite the low levels of SES among the least acculturated and the positive relationship between SES and health. This is called the epidemiological paradox and is found for many health outcomes, including obesity. Children of immigrants tend to do better economically than their parents and thus this relationship may be better understood by examining the relationship between own and origin SES on BMI trajectories. Using growth curve models and the NLSY 97-07 data I find that the first generation has lower baseline BMI, but slower growth in BMI. I find that origin SES is an important predictor of BMI for the third generation even after controlling for own SES, but is not as strong for children of immigrants. Lastly, I find that own SES is negatively associated with BMI, regardless of generation.

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Presented in Poster Session 6