Another Hispanic Paradox? How Socioeconomic Gradients in Health Differ for Whites and Latinos

Noreen Goldman, Princeton University
Rachel T. Kimbro, Princeton University
Cassio M. Turra, Princeton University
Anne Pebley, University of California, Los Angeles

Differentials in health by socioeconomic status have been identified in a myriad of studies, some dating as far back as the 1800s. With few exceptions, these studies have found that persons of higher SES experience lower rates of morbidity and mortality than their counterparts. These associations have been identified across time, place, gender and age as well as for a broad range of outcome variables. This paper examines differences in these SES health gradients for non-Hispanic whites and Latinos using data from both the Los Angeles Families and Neighborhoods Survey (LAFANS) and the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Survey. Findings to date demonstrate that gradients by education in health and health behaviors are absent for the Latino population. In contrast, findings for non-Hispanic whites are consistent with expectation: persons with more education have better health outcomes and healthier behaviors. We explore possible hypotheses for these differences in health gradients.

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Presented in Session 131: Immigrant Health: Selection and Acculturation