Maternal and Infant Health of the Mexican-Origin Population in Chicago: A Study of the Effect of Acculturation on Health in the United States

Miguel Ceballos, University of Wisconsin at Madison

This paper investigates the mechanisms influencing maternal and child health through an examination of the epidemiological paradox: the empirical finding that health outcomes of infants born to Mexican-origin women are better than or equal to the health outcomes of infants born to U.S.-born white women. The paper focuses on the less-studied finding of the epidemiological paradox: the health outcomes of the Mexican-origin population deteriorate with increased duration in the United States. Data analyzed comes from a study of recently pregnant Mexican-origin women of single and multiple parity from South Chicago. The study contains survey and medical record data on maternal and infant health, socioeconomic, and behavioral variables. This paper provides a longitudinal analysis of change in maternal and infant health over the duration in the U.S. through a comparison of health during the sequential pregnancies and the infant health of siblings during the first year of life.

Presented in Session 97: Sociocultural Issues in Maternal and Child Health in the U.S.