Immigrant Generational Status and Developmental Problems among Prematurely Born Children

Phylicia T. Bediako, Rhonda BeLue, Marianne M. Hillemeier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Immigrants in the U.S. often have comparatively favorable health outcomes despite relative socioeconomic disadvantage- a phenomenon termed the Immigrant Paradox. This study examined the relationship between family immigrant status and developmental problems among children born preterm. The 2011–2012 National Survey of Children’s Health data collected through a telephone based survey based on parental report of prematurity and other comorbidities were analyzed using multivariate logistic regression analysis to examine seven developmental outcomes. Preterm 1st/2nd generation children had fewer developmental problems than preterm 3rd generation children. Controlling for socioeconomic status and other covariates, 1st/2nd generation children had significantly lower odds of developmental delay, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, and hearing problems. Consistent with the Immigrant Paradox, prematurely born children of immigrants had comparable or better developmental outcomes than preterm children of US born parents despite socioeconomic disadvantage. Further research to explicate mechanisms responsible for the protective health effects observed is warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)422-430
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Immigrant and Minority Health
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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