Immigrant Status and Cognitive Functioning

PMH member Angelica Herrera and colleagues used six waves of data collected from the original cohort of the Hispanic Established Populations for the Epidemiologic Study of the Elderly to estimate growth curve models to assess variations in cognitive functioning trajectories by nativity status and age at migration among women and men. Among women and men, middle-life (between the ages of 20 and 49) immigrants tend to exhibit higher levels of baseline cognitive functioning than the U.S.-born. Our growth curve analyses suggest that the cognitive functioning trajectories of women do not vary according to nativity status and age at migration. However, those men who migrated in middle-life tend to exhibit slower rates of cognitive decline. A statistically significant interaction term suggests that immigrant men tend to maintain their advantage for a longer period of time. This confirms that gender is an important conditioning factor in the association between immigrant status and cognitive functioning.

For more information, see:
Hill, T.D., Angel, J.L., Balistreri, K.S., Herrera, A.P. (2012). Immigrant status and cognitive functioning in late-life: An examination of gender variations in the healthy immigrant effect. Social Science & Medicine, Part Special Issue: Place, migration & health. Volume 75, Issue 12, pages 2076-2084.