The Effect of Maternal Nativity on the Health Status of Mexican-American Infants

Eunjeong Kim, University of Texas at Austin
Samuel Echevarria, University of Texas at Austin

Many studies have consistently demonstrated that Mexican-Americans have better birth outcomes than do other populations of similar socioeconomic backgrounds, and that these favorable outcomes are more pronounced among immigrants. However, few studies have explored the general health status of Mexican-American infants beyond birth and its association with maternal nativity. This study investigates the influence of maternal nativity on the health status of Mexican-American infants, while taking into account the intervening effects of independent variables: socioeconomic status, social support, maternal health behaviors and mothering practices, health care use, and birth weight. The study uses data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study, which provides rich and in-depth information about child health and related factors. The findings from this study reveal that infants of foreign-born mothers are less healthy than are infants of native-born mothers after controlling for intervening factors.

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