Distress Among Black Immigrants by Region of Birth

Guadalupe Marquez-Velarde , Utah State University
Verna Keith, University of Alabama at Birmingham
Gabe H. Miller, Texas A&M University

The increase of Black migration has prompted empirical analyses and the development of theoretical frameworks focused on the Black immigrant experience. Read and Emerson explained health disparities among Black immigrants using a racial context paradigm. We expand on their framework by studying the mental health of Black immigrants by region of birth using data from the National Health Interview Survey. We analyze distress among five groups, African Americans (N= 60,219), Central Americans and Caribbean Blacks (N= 4,623), South American Blacks (N= 422), European Blacks (N= 263) and African Blacks (N=2,083). At baseline, African Blacks and Central American and Caribbean Blacks are significantly less likely to be distressed which is congruous with Read and Emerson’s paradigm. However, controlling for education, region of birth is no longer significant. Black immigrants from each region do not have homogeneous outcomes and are rather determined by socioeconomic status which is indicative of immigrant selectivity.

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 Presented in Session 7. Migration & Urbanization