Center for Studies in Demography and Ecology

Jane Lee Examines the Relationship Between Current Sociopolitical Context and Health Among Latino Immigrants

Posted: 3/18/2019 (CSDE Research)

Migration is an important social determinant of health for immigrants in the United States. In an article published in the March 2019 issue of  Journal of Social Policy, CSDE Affiliate Jane Lee, Assistant Professor of Social Work, investigates potential mechanisms that link the sociopolitical context and health among Latino immigrants. Specifically, she explores how perceptions of the sociopolitical context are implicated in this relationship. While prior research has assessed the potential health impact of specific immigration policies, there is limited understanding of how the overall sociopolitical context shapes the health of Latino immigrants.

Qualitative interviews with community gatekeepers (n=13) and Latino immigrants (n=34) in New York City revealed general perceptions about the overall sociopolitical context, which were characterized by discrimination towards immigrants, unpredictable and mercurial circumstances, and confusion and lack of information. These perceptions influenced participants’ psycho-emotional health and health-related behaviors. Findings suggest the importance of integrating immigrants’ perceptions of the sociopolitical context into health promotion efforts. Furthermore, findings demonstrate the need for paradigm shifts in developing policy-related actions to integrate immigrants’ perspectives.



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