Health among Black children by maternal and child nativity

Arun S. Hendi, Neil K. Mehta, Irma T. Elo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Objectives. We examined 5 health outcomes among Black children born to US-born and foreign-born mothers and whether differences by mother's region of birth could be explained by maternal duration of US residence, child's place of birth, and familial sociodemographic characteristics. Methods. Data were from the 2000-2011 National Health Interview Surveys. We examined 3 groups of children, based on mother's region of birth: US origin, African origin, and Latin American or Caribbean origin. We estimated multivariate regression models. Results. Children of foreign-born mothers were healthier across all 5 outcomes than were children of US-born mothers. Among children of foreign-born mothers, US-born children performed worse on all health outcomes than children born abroad. African-origin children had the most favorable health profile. Longer duration of US residence among foreign-born mothers was associated with poorer child health. Maternal educational attainment and other sociodemographic characteristics did little to explain these differences. Conclusions. Further studies are needed to understand the role of selective migration and the behavioral, cultural, socioeconomic, and contextual origins of the health advantage of Black children of foreign-born mothers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)703-710
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Public Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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