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NCJ Number: 193817 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Health Status and Risk Behaviors of Adolescents in Immigrant Families (From Children of Immigrants: Health, Adjustment, and Public Assistance, P 286-347, 1999, Donald J. Hernandez, ed.)
Author(s): Kathleen Mullan Harris
Date Published: 1999
Page Count: 62
Sponsoring Agency: California Wellness Foundation
Woodland Hills, CA 91367
Carnegie Corporation of New York
New York, NY 10036
Gang Intelligence Strategy Committee

National Academies Press
Washington, DC 20001
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
Bethesda, MD 20892-2425
Rockefeller Foundation
New York, NY 10036
US Dept of Health and Human Services
Washington, DC 20201
William T. Grant Foundation
New York, NY 10022
Grant Number: 282-95-0020; NO1-HD-6-3253; B6347; 94160394; 9700139;
Sale Source: National Academies Press
500 Fifth Street, N.W.
Keck 360
Washington, DC 20001
United States of America
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Book (Softbound)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This chapter examines the physical and emotional health status and health-risk behaviors of immigrant adolescents and native-born adolescents with immigrant parents compared to adolescent health in native-born families; generational differences are assessed by country of origin and ethnic group, along with the extent to which family and neighborhood contexts explained the within and across ethnic group differences in health outcomes.
Abstract: The country-of-origin composition of immigrants to the United States between 1980 and 1990 involved 90 percent from Asia, Latin America, and Africa compared with previous generations of immigrants primarily from Europe. This chapter analyzes the health status and health-risk behaviors of a population of adolescents from this "new immigration." Using data from a nationally representative study of adolescents in American schools in grades 7 through 12, the study included immigrant youth who arrived in the United States between 1975 and 1994, along with native-born youth of immigrant parents. These data are compared with data on adolescents from native-born families (native-born youth with native-born parents). The study focused on three dimensions of health: physical health, emotional health, and health-risk behaviors. The clear and consistent finding of this study was that foreign-born youth experienced more favorable physical and emotional health and less involvement in health-risk behaviors than native-born youth of foreign-born parents and native-born youth of native-born parents; this effect held across country-of-origin and ethnic background. The study did not identify factors that could explain this protective health factor for foreign-born youth; other data are required to identify factors such as parenting behaviors, extended kin relationships, and exchange of social resources that might explain the comparative health status of foreign-born youth. Also, the loss of health protection and the increase in psychological distress as ethnic minorities assimilate into American youth culture warrants further research. 28 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile delinquency factors
Index Term(s): Comparative analysis; Immigrants/Aliens; Juvenile health services; Juvenile mental health services
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