Complementary and Alternative Medicine and Immigrant Assimilation

Georgiana Bostean, University of California, Irvine

Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) is increasingly being used in the U.S. Research on CAM has characterized users as educated, white females but has omitted immigrants and, consequently, the importance of assimilation. Using data from the 2002 National Health Interview Survey, this study examines whether U.S. natives are more or less likely to use CAM than their foreign-born counterparts and whether assimilation plays a role in CAM use. The results of in-depth analyses of the relation between CAM use and nativity, ethnicity, and U.S. length of residence presented here will attempt to address the lack of literature on assimilation and CAM. Preliminary findings suggest that assimilation is important in CAM use, but that the foreign-born are less likely than natives to use it and that they increase their likelihood and approach that of natives over their length of residence in the U.S. Hence, assimilation plays a role in CAM use.

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