Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

Award Date

2021

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Sociology and Rural Studies

First Advisor

Weiwei Zhang

Abstract

The growth in the immigration population in the U.S. has transformed American demographic profile and has led to magnification in health disparities in the United States. The main purpose of this dissertation is to examine the relationship between acculturation and health behavior, mental health outcomes, and access to health care service among immigrants in the U.S. Relying on the acculturation framework, the dissertation intends to increase the understanding of health disparities and health patterns among immigrants. The dissertation utilizes the secondary data from National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) data to examine the effects of acculturation on health of immigrants. Measures of Immigrants’ acculturation include English language proficiency, duration of living in the U.S., and the citizenship. Statistical modeling is applied to examine how acculturation influences health behavior of immigrants, mental health outcomes of immigrants, and access to health care service of immigrants. The main findings indicate that immigrants’ acculturation can have both detrimental and beneficial effects on health-related behaviors, mental health outcomes, and access to health care service. All measures of acculturation, in particular English language proficiency, are significant factors related to the health status of immigrants. For future research, this dissertation suggests that improving health and reducing health disparities will need to address acculturation, the educational, economic and environmental factors that affect health behavior, mental health outcomes, and access to health care service among immigrants in the U.S.

Number of Pages

166

Publisher

South Dakota State University

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Rights Statement

In Copyright