Segregation, nativity, and health: Reproductive health inequalities for immigrant and native-born black women in New York City

Sue C. Grady, Sara L McLafferty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This research analyzes differences between immigrant and native-born Black women in the ralationships between racial residential segregation and low birthweight risk. Differences in nativity are investigated because sociocultural diversity may affect women's exposure to environmental and psychosocial stressors associated with living in highly segregated neighborhoods and in the presence of protective "ethnic density" effects. Using vital statistics data for New York City on all births to "Black" mothers in 2000, we analyze the associations between segregation and the risk of having a low birthweight infant for immigrant and native-born mothers. Multilevel models are estimated that include maternal characteristics, census tract poverty, and a spatial measure of local segregation. For U.S.-born Black women, living in racially segregated areas - areas with high racial isolation - is associated with a higher low birthweight risk, Similar findings are uncovered for immigrant Black women; however, the association between segregation and low birthweight disappears when differences in country/region of origin are controlled. For immigrant Black women, the health impacts of segregation are much more muted and complex than those for the native-born.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)377-397
Number of pages21
JournalUrban Geography
Volume28
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - May 16 2007

Keywords

  • Ethnic density
  • Immigrants
  • Low birthweight
  • New York City
  • Racial residential segregation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Urban Studies

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