Generational status, neighborhood context, and mother-child resemblance in dietary quality in Mexican-origin families

Molly Dondero, Jennifer Van Hook

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations


Children of immigrants in the United States often grow up in very different nutrition environments than their parents. As a result, parent-child concordance in diet may be particularly weak in immigrant families. Yet, little is known about parent-child dietary resemblance in immigrant families and how local contexts shape it. This study uses data from the 1999/2000-2009/2010 Continuous National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey to examine mother-child resemblance in dietary quality in Mexican-origin families in the United States. We investigate how immigrant generational status and neighborhood context shape the association between mothers' and children's dietary quality. We find that mother-child resemblance in dietary quality is weaker for first-generation children relative to third-generation children. However, residence in an immigrant enclave strengthens the mother-child association in dietary quality for first-generation children. Findings offer a unique within-family perspective of immigrant health. Results suggest that the healthy eating advantage of Mexican immigrant mothers may not be sustained across family generations and that Mexican immigrant mothers may face unique challenges in promoting healthy eating among their children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)212-220
Number of pages9
JournalSocial Science and Medicine
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2016


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • History and Philosophy of Science

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