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Is the Mexican American “Epidemiologic Paradox” Advantage at Birth Maintained through Early Childhood?

Citation

Padilla, Yolanda C.; Boardman, Jason D.; Hummer, Robert A.; & Espitia, Marilyn (2002). Is the Mexican American “Epidemiologic Paradox” Advantage at Birth Maintained through Early Childhood?. Social Forces, 80(3), 1101-23.

Abstract

We examine the influence of the relative good health at birth in the Mexican American population on their subsequent well-being. Using the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth Child Data (NLSY-CD), we conduct a comparative analysis of child development among Mexican American, non-Hispanic black, and non-Hispanic white children ages 3 and 4 (N = 3,710). We use the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test-Revised (PPVT-R) as our operationalization of child development. Descriptive results suggest that, unlike the relative similarity in the rates of low birth weight between the white and Mexican American populations, Mexican Americans have much lower developmental outcomes. Multivariate analysis shows that birth weight is not a powerful predictor of child development, nor does it explain pronounced racial and ethnic differences. Mothers education, poverty, and immigrant status of parents remain significantly more important in the developmental process of all children in our sample.

URL

http://dx.doi.org/10.1353/sof.2002.0014

Reference Type

Journal Article

Journal Title

Social Forces

Author(s)

Padilla, Yolanda C.
Boardman, Jason D.
Hummer, Robert A.
Espitia, Marilyn

Year Published

2002

Volume Number

80

Issue Number

3

Pages

1101-23

Reference ID

8428