Cross-generational effects of discrimination among immigrant mothers: Perceived discrimination predicts child's healthcare visits for illness

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This study tested whether an immigrant mother's perception of ethnic and language-based discrimination affects the health of her child (indexed by the child's frequency of sick visits to the doctor, adjusting for well-visits), as a function of her ethnic-group attachment and length of U.S. residency. Method: A community-based sample of 98 immigrant Dominican and Mexican mothers of normally developing 14-month-old children were interviewed. Mothers reported their perceived ethnic and language-based discrimination, degree of ethnic-group attachment, length of time in the United States, and frequency of their child's doctor visits for both illness and routine (healthy) exams. Results: Among more recent immigrants, greater perceived ethnic and language-based discrimination were associated with more frequent sick-child visits, but only among those reporting low ethnic-group attachment. The associations between both forms of perceived discrimination and sick-child visits were not observed among mothers reporting high ethnic-group attachment. Among more established immigrants, perceived language-based discrimination was associated with more frequent sick-child visits regardless of ethnic-group attachment. Conclusion: These results suggest that a Latina mother's experience with ethnic and language-based discrimination is associated with her child's health, as indicated by doctor visits for illness, but that strong ethnic-group attachment may mitigate this association among recent immigrants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)203-211
Number of pages9
JournalHealth Psychology
Volume32
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2013

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Ethnic Groups
Mothers
Delivery of Health Care
Language
Internship and Residency
Hispanic Americans
Discrimination (Psychology)

Keywords

  • Ethnic attachment
  • Health
  • Immigration
  • Prejudice
  • Stigma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Applied Psychology

Cite this

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title = "Cross-generational effects of discrimination among immigrant mothers: Perceived discrimination predicts child's healthcare visits for illness",
abstract = "This study tested whether an immigrant mother's perception of ethnic and language-based discrimination affects the health of her child (indexed by the child's frequency of sick visits to the doctor, adjusting for well-visits), as a function of her ethnic-group attachment and length of U.S. residency. Method: A community-based sample of 98 immigrant Dominican and Mexican mothers of normally developing 14-month-old children were interviewed. Mothers reported their perceived ethnic and language-based discrimination, degree of ethnic-group attachment, length of time in the United States, and frequency of their child's doctor visits for both illness and routine (healthy) exams. Results: Among more recent immigrants, greater perceived ethnic and language-based discrimination were associated with more frequent sick-child visits, but only among those reporting low ethnic-group attachment. The associations between both forms of perceived discrimination and sick-child visits were not observed among mothers reporting high ethnic-group attachment. Among more established immigrants, perceived language-based discrimination was associated with more frequent sick-child visits regardless of ethnic-group attachment. Conclusion: These results suggest that a Latina mother's experience with ethnic and language-based discrimination is associated with her child's health, as indicated by doctor visits for illness, but that strong ethnic-group attachment may mitigate this association among recent immigrants.",
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AB - This study tested whether an immigrant mother's perception of ethnic and language-based discrimination affects the health of her child (indexed by the child's frequency of sick visits to the doctor, adjusting for well-visits), as a function of her ethnic-group attachment and length of U.S. residency. Method: A community-based sample of 98 immigrant Dominican and Mexican mothers of normally developing 14-month-old children were interviewed. Mothers reported their perceived ethnic and language-based discrimination, degree of ethnic-group attachment, length of time in the United States, and frequency of their child's doctor visits for both illness and routine (healthy) exams. Results: Among more recent immigrants, greater perceived ethnic and language-based discrimination were associated with more frequent sick-child visits, but only among those reporting low ethnic-group attachment. The associations between both forms of perceived discrimination and sick-child visits were not observed among mothers reporting high ethnic-group attachment. Among more established immigrants, perceived language-based discrimination was associated with more frequent sick-child visits regardless of ethnic-group attachment. Conclusion: These results suggest that a Latina mother's experience with ethnic and language-based discrimination is associated with her child's health, as indicated by doctor visits for illness, but that strong ethnic-group attachment may mitigate this association among recent immigrants.

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