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CUPC Special Speaker: Healthy Eating Among Mexican Immigrants
October 1, 2018 @ 12:30 pm - 1:45 pm
Jenny Van Hook (Sociology, Pennsylvania State University).
Title: "Healthy Eating Among Mexican Immigrants: Migration in Childhood and Time in the U.S."
Abstract: Past research on immigrant health frequently finds that the duration of time lived in the United States is associated with the erosion of immigrants’ health advantages. However, the timing of U.S. migration during the life course is rarely explored. We draw from developmental and sociological perspectives to theorize how migration during childhood may be related to healthy eating among adult immigrants from Mexico. We test these ideas with a mechanism-based age-period-cohort model to disentangle age, age at arrival, and duration of residence. Results show that immigrants who arrived during preschool ages (2–5 years) and school ages (6–11 years) have less healthy diets than adult arrivals (25+ years). After accounting for age at arrival, duration of residence is positively related to healthy eating. Overall, the findings highlight the need to focus more research and policy interventions on child immigrants, who may be particularly susceptible to adopting unhealthy American behaviors during sensitive periods of childhood.
Bio: Jennifer Van Hook is Roy C. Buck Professor of Sociology and Demography at Pennsylvania State University, and currently serves as Head of the Sociology Department and is the former Director of the Population Research Institute. Van Hook is interested in demography, immigrant integration, and health. One part of her scholarly work uses demographic methods to estimate the size, characteristics, and dynamics of the unauthorized foreign-born population, while another focuses on the health and well-being of immigrants and their children. Professor Van Hook is a recent recipient of the Clifford C. Clogg Award for Mid-Career Achievement from the Population Association of America.