Why Do Hispanics Report Poorer Health Status than Whites?

Sharon Bzostek, Princeton University

Despite the fact that for many other measures of health status, Hispanics appear to do better than would be expected given their average levels of SES, Hispanics are less likely than other racial/ethnic groups of similar SES to self-report good health. While past research provides many possible explanations for Hispanics’ poorer reports of self-rated health, few studies have been able to simultaneously consider the impact that these factors may have on Hispanics’ self-rated health. This study uses data from the Los Angeles Family and Neighborhood Survey to explore how various individual and neighborhood factors may influence Hispanics’ self-assessed health and how this differs from non-Hispanic whites. Preliminary descriptive and multivariate results suggest that, while many other factors are significantly associated with self-ratings of health for Hispanics and non-Hispanic whites, immigrant status seems to play a key difference in explaining Hispanics’ poorer reports of self-rated health status.

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Presented in Poster Session 5: Health, Mortality, Aging, Biology