Generational differences in the social circumstances, health habits, and infant health outcomes of Puerto Rican women are examined using recently collected data from the Puerto Rican Maternal and Infant Health Study. The results show that recent migrants to the U.S. mainland experience fewer stressful life events and are less likely to engage in negative health behaviors during pregnancy than U.S.-born Puerto Rican women. Recent migrants also exhibit better infant health outcomes than childhood migrants and U.S.-born women. Risk factors (e.g., low human capital, meager financial resources, and residence in disadvantaged neighborhoods) and protective factors (e.g., strong family support and a Latino cultural orientation) identified in theories of segmented assimilation are related to the outcomes examined but cannot explain the generational differences that are documented.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Sociology and Political Science