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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

NYU: The Effects of Social Mobility on Women’s Health in Migration

A new study by Dr. Ana Abraído Lanza, senior associate dean for academic and faculty affairs and professor of social and behavioral sciences with New York University College of Global Public Health, and her doctoral students was published in Social Science & Medicine titled “Are you better off? Perceptions of social mobility and satisfaction with care among Latina immigrants in the U.S.”

Although the reasons for immigrating to the U.S. vary by Latino groups, many Latinos cite economic or political motivations for their migration. Once in the United States, Latino immigrants may face many challenges, including discrimination and blocked opportunities for social mobility, and difficulties in obtaining health services and quality health care. The purpose of this study was to explore how changes in social mobility from the country of origin to the U.S. may relate to Latina women’s health care interactions. The study examined whether self-reported social mobility among 419 Latina women immigrants is associated with satisfaction with health care. NYU researchers also examined the association among social mobility and self-rated health, quality of care, and medical mistrust. Upward social mobility was associated with greater number of years lived in the U.S., and downward social mobility was associated with more years of education. Those who reported no changes in social class (stable social mobility) were older and were the most satisfied with their medical care. Multiple regression analyses indicated that downward social mobility was associated with less satisfaction with care when controlling for demographic covariates, quality of care, and medical mistrust. Results suggest that perceived social mobility may differentially predict Latina immigrants’ satisfaction with the healthcare system, including their trust in U.S. medical institutions. We conclude that perceived social mobility is an important element in exploring the experiences of immigrant Latinas with health care in the United States.

Read Dr. Abraído Lanza’s paper.