Age at Immigration, Generational Status, and Mortality among Children of Immigrant Mothers: a Longitudinal Analysis of Siblings

Publication Abstract

Mehta, Neil, Pekka Martikainen, and Agneta Cederström. 2019. "Age at Immigration, Generational Status, and Mortality among Children of Immigrant Mothers: a Longitudinal Analysis of Siblings." American Journal of Epidemiology, 188(7): 1237-1244.

Previous studies document that age at immigration and generational status are important predictors of socioeconomic outcomes among children of immigrants. Whether these characteristics are related to long-term mortality is unknown. Leveraging variation within sib-ships, we evaluated the association of age at immigration and generational status (first or second generation) with mortality among children of immigrant mothers to Sweden. Data included 272,429 individuals (126,701 sib-ships) aged 15+ from the total Swedish population who were followed between 1990 and 2009. Population-average and sibling fixed-effect regressions were estimated; the latter controlling for unobserved factors shared by siblings. Results indicated that the foreign born children of immigrants experienced 17% higher mortality than the Swedish born children of immigrants. This excess risk was evident for external and non-external causes of death. In general, we did not detect a graded association between age at immigration and mortality among the foreign born, however, those arriving during primary school ages appeared especially vulnerable. In sum, this study provides robust evidence that among children of immigrants being foreign born was associated with a long-term mortality penalty compared to being born in the host country.

10.1093/aje/kwz055

Keywords:
Emigrants and immigrants, mortality, acculturation, siblings

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