The association between anti-immigrant policies and perceived discrimination among Latinos in the US: A multilevel analysis

Joanna Almeida, Katie B. Biello, Francisco Pedraza, Suzanne Wintner, Edna Viruell-Fuentes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Research has found a strong inverse association between discrimination and health and well-being. Most of these studies have been conducted among African-Americans, and have examined the relationship at the individual-level. To fill these gaps in knowledge we estimated the prevalence of perceived discrimination among a nationally representative sample of Latino adults in the US, and investigated the association between state-level anti-immigrant policies and perceived discrimination. We merged survey data with a state-level anti-immigrant policy index. First, we fit hierarchical logistic regression models to test the crude and adjusted association between anti-immigrant policies and perceived discrimination. Second, we specified cross-level interaction terms to test whether this association differed by relevant individual characteristics. Almost 70% of respondents reported discrimination (68.4%). More anti-immigrant policies were associated with higher levels of discrimination (OR=1.62, 95% CI 1.16, 2.24, p=0.01). The association between anti-immigrant policies and discrimination differed by place of origin (p=0.001) and was marginally moderated by generation status (p=0.124). Anti-immigrant policies stigmatize both foreign and US-born Latinos by creating a hostile social environment which affects their experiences of discrimination. These non-health policies can adversely affect Latino health, in part through exposure to discrimination, and may help explain health patterns among Latinos in the US.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)897-903
Number of pages7
JournalSSM - Population Health
Volume2
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016

Keywords

  • Anti-immigrant policies
  • Immigrants
  • Latinos
  • Multilevel analysis
  • Perceived discrimination
  • United States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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