Using Vignettes to Understand Latino/White Disparities in Self-Rated Health by Domain

Sharon Bzostek, Rutgers University

This paper uses anchoring vignettes data from the second round of the Los Angeles Families and Neighborhood Study (conducted in 2006-2008) to identify and adjust for systematic differences in rating styles in Hispanic and non-Hispanic whites’ self-rated health across six subdomains of health. Preliminary results suggest that relative to the several Hispanic subgroups, non-Hispanic whites tend to have more pessimistic rating styles. Adjusting for systematic differences in rating styles changes our conclusions regarding differences in self-rated health for two health subdomains: energy level and emotional problems. In both cases, most of the Latino subgroups have significantly worse self-ratings (relative to native-born whites) in the adjusted models, but not in the unadjusted models. By assessing if---and how---failing to account for potential differences in reporting style leads to misleading comparisons among these groups, our findings could have important implications for our substantive understanding of disparities in self-rated health by race/ethnicity.

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Presented in Poster Session 7