Spatial Assimilation and Health: The Structural and Social Effects of Living inside and outside of an Ethnic Neighborhood

Emily Walton, University of Wisconsin at Madison

Is living in ethnically-dense neighborhoods good or bad for the health of Asian and Latino Americans? This study uses data from the National Latino and Asian American Study to examine individual and neighborhood characteristics that may protect or harm health in ethnic and non-ethnic neighborhoods among Asian and Latino adults. Multilevel analyses are conducted to examine rival theories regarding the potential impact of racial segregation on health – place stratification theory and the ethnic density hypothesis. Results demonstrate that Asian and Latino adults live in different types of ethnic neighborhoods, and that the individual and neighborhood characteristics associated with health vary for Asian and Latino respondents in these neighborhoods. Results underscore the need for more nuanced theory linking residential segregation to health among diverse racial/ethnic groups.

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Presented in Session 6: Race, Ethnicity, and Health: Contextual Influences