Impact of International Migration on Mental Health Outcomes

Mark VanLandingham, Tulane University
Hongyun Fu, Tulane University
Dinh Tran, Tulane University

Investigations of the impact of international migration on migrant health have generated an extensive literature. Some limitations of this literature are as follows. Mental health outcomes are rarely employed. Where mental health outcomes are employed, clinic samples are typically used; such samples suffer from well-known biases. Typical research designs employed do not allow distinctions to be made between migration and selection effects. Finally, little of this literature focuses on the Vietnamese, a major immigrant group to the U.S. during recent decades. We address these deficiencies by employing a wide range of mental health outcomes (SF-36 subscales; the Affect Balance Scale, and a Vietnamese depression scale); and a “natural experiment” research design that directly addresses potential selection effects to investigate the impact of international migration on mental health outcomes using population-based samples of Vietnamese immigrants, never-leavers, and returnees. Data were collected between 2003 - 2005.

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Presented in Poster Session 6: Migration, Urbanization, Neighborhood and Residential Context