Unravelling the ‘immigrant health paradox’: ethnic maintenance, discrimination, and health behaviours of the foreign born and their children in England

Publication type

Journal Article

Published in

Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies

Authors

Renee Reichl Luthra, Alita Nandi and Michaela Benzeval

Publication date

Summary

This paper uses data from Understanding Society, a large representative survey of UK with an ethnic minority boost sample, to test the association between ethnic maintenance, discrimination and health behaviours, among both foreign born and UK born ethnic minorities. We model the probability of smoking and alcohol consumption on (a) ethnic maintenance measured as a function of friendship composition, religiosity, and ethnic identity; and (b) exposure to discrimination as evidenced by self-reports of ethnic and racial harassment in public places. We find that even after controlling for other structural inequalities in income, education, and geography, there is a positive association between ethnic and racial harassment and smoking for ethnic minority women. We also find that ethnic minority men and women who report stronger ethnic maintenance are less likely to binge drink. While we find similar results for ethnic minority women and smoking, we find no such relationship for ethnic minority men.

DOI

https://doi.org/10.1080/1369183X.2018.1539287

ISSN

16

Subjects

Drug/Alcohol Abuse, Social Groups, Social Networks, Migration, Ethnic Groups, Health, Social Behaviour and Race Relations

Notes

Online Early; Open Access; This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.; Special Issue: Ethnic Diversity in the UK: new opportunities and changing constraints

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