Substance Use, Age at Migration and Length of Residence among Adult Immigrants in the United States

Kelin Li, University of Utah
Ming Wen, University of Utah

In this study we incorporate a life course perspective and examine whether age at migration predicts current smoking and binge drinking and moderates the effect of length of residence in the United States on these two health behaviors using a nationally representative sample (N=7,397). Immigrant groups include those from Latin America/Caribbean, East and South Asia/Pacific/Oceania, Sub-Saharan Africa, Europe/Central Asia, and Middle East/North Africa. Multivariate logistic regressions are estimated. Results show that age at migration matters in a gendered way across immigrant groups. Arriving at age 0-9 is directly associated with higher odds of binge drinking among adult women. Among adult men, age at migration moderates the association between length of residence and both smoking and binge drinking. Length of residence has more detrimental effects for adolescent migrants (arriving at age 10-18) on smoking, while its detrimental effects are more pronounced for childhood migrants (arriving at age 0-9) on binge drinking.

  See paper

Presented in Poster Session 8