The Sociogeography of Sleep among Legal and Unauthorized Migrants Residing in Metropolitan Boston

Enrico Marcelli, San Diego State University
Orfeu Buxton, Harvard Medical School

We employ 2007 Harvard-UMASS Boston Metropolitan Immigrant Health & Legal Status Survey and 2000 U.S. Census data to investigate how household and neighborhood environments influenced sleep among Brazilian and Dominican migrant adults. Specifically, controlling for individual demographic and socioeconomic characteristics, various other health behaviors, and interpersonal networks of reciprocity, we estimate the relative influence of household characteristics (e.g., number of children, sleeping arrangements) and neighborhood context (e.g., disorder, noise) and composition (e.g., ethnoracial diversity, trust) on several measures of sleep quality. Regression results suggest that both household and neighborhood environments influenced sleep duration, sleep debt, and overall sleep quality similarly regardless of legal status. Having been married and residing in a home with fewer children reduced the probability of poor sleep, and residing in a neighborhood with more social disorder raised it. We conclude by discussing whether objective or subjective neighborhood metrics are more important for understanding sleep outcomes.

Presented in Session 53: Neighborhood Influences on Health: Exploring Mechanisms