Has the Hispanic Paradox Persisted in Childhood Health?

Hongyun Han, University of Wisconsin at Madison

Using the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Kindergarten Cohort data, this paper addresses whether Hispanic immigrants pass on their health advantages to their children. After controlling for family background, our preliminary findings indicate that the Hispanic paradox has persisted through childhood for most of health indicators we examined. Hispanic children born to Mexican immigrants face the lowest risks of developing chronic health problems, such as asthma and sinusitis. Hispanic children of Mexican origin are less likely to develop cognitive disability, behavioral and emotional problems. Some of their health advantages can be traced to their better health condition at birth and maternal health. Yet, almost all Hispanic children suffer from obesity, regardless of their mothers’ ethnicity and nativity. Overall, these findings provide the supporting evidence for the Hispanic paradox hypothesis in childhood health.

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Presented in Session 150: Comparative Perspectives on Migration and Health