24 Mar 2017

Recent Articles in Population Research and Policy Review RSS


The Integration of Immigrant Youth in Schools and Friendship Networks

Abstract

This study examines the degree to which immigrant youth are integrated in school settings at the dyadic (reciprocity and isolation), network (popularity, centrality, social status), and institutional levels (connection to school, extracurricular activities). The study includes 43,123 youth across 64 schools with immigrant populations from the 1994–1995 Wave I in-school survey of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health). Survey-weighted logistic, negative binomial, and linear regression models were used to estimate the effects of race/ethnicity, immigrant generation, friendship composition, and school composition on integration at dyadic, network, and institutional levels. In general, the success of second-generation youth in navigating their school social contexts provides evidence of positive processes of immigrant integration. However, important differences across racial and ethnic groups suggest that these successes are most prominent for Asian youth, while other groups may not experience processes of social integration equally. In addition, same race/ethnicity friendships functioned to facilitate social integration, while same-generation friendships placed youth from immigrant families at increased risk for marginalization. Results highlight the need for schools to consider how to build connections across immigrant generations and to draw on the strengths of immigrant youth to contribute to school communities.


Theoretical Insights into Preconception Social Conditions and Perinatal Health: The Role of Place and Social Relationships

Abstract

Recent efforts to explain the stark social and racial disparities in adverse birth outcomes that have persisted for decades in the U.S. have looked beyond prenatal factors, to explore preconception social conditions that may influence perinatal health via dysregulation of physiologic processes. The extant evidence supporting this link however remains limited, both due to a lack of data and theory. To address the latter, this manuscript generates a structured set of theoretical insights that further develop the link between two preconception social conditions—place and social relationships—and perinatal health. The insights propose the following. Place: necessarily encompasses all social contexts to which females are exposed from infancy through young adulthood; encompasses a variety of related exposures that, when possible, should be jointly considered; and may compound the effect of poverty—in childhood, adolescence, or young adulthood—on perinatal health. Social relationships: span relationships from early life through adulthood, and extend to intergenerational associations; often involve (or induce) major changes in the lives of individuals and should be examined with an emphasis on the developmental stage in which the change occurred; and can reflect a lack of social integration, or, social isolation. We also identify potential biological and social-structural mechanisms linking these preconception social conditions to perinatal health, and conclude by identifying promising directions for future research.


Continued Success or Caught in the Housing Bubble? Black Immigrants and the Housing Market Crash

Abstract

The recent housing market crisis in the United States led to a drastic drop in homeownership and house values nationwide. While research documents the disproportionate impact of the housing market crisis on blacks, and the surprisingly small effect on immigrants, no research investigates how individuals who are both black and immigrants fared. I use 2005–2007 and 2009–2011 pooled American Community Survey data (N = 2,000,689 and 2,013,001, respectively) to determine whether black immigrants’ housing market outcomes mirrored that of U.S.-born blacks or other immigrants during the housing crisis. Using the maximum likelihood estimator regression with a Heckman correction to measure race and nativity differences in homeownership and house value, I find that there is a great deal of diversity in black immigrant housing market outcomes. Caribbean immigrants experienced significantly larger drops in homeownership than U.S.-born whites and blacks and Asian immigrants, but there is no significant difference between whites and African immigrants. Consistent with previous research, living in major settlement areas meditated black immigrants’ housing market disadvantage. Despite the benefits of living in a co-ethnic community, both African and Caribbean immigrants experienced significantly larger drops in house value than U.S.-born blacks and whites and Asian immigrants. These findings indicate that black immigrants’ housing options are more rather than less constrained than U.S.-born blacks after the housing market crash. Given that the bulk of black wealth is held in home equity, reduced house values may also have long-term consequences on black immigrants’ ability to make, maintain, and pass on wealth across generations.


Women’s Agency and Fertility: Recent Evidence from Egypt

Abstract

Fertility reached a two decade high of 3.5 births per woman in Egypt in 2014. Lower status of women is associated with higher fertility. Majority of the studies on women’s agency and fertility rely on individual-level cross-sectional data from South Asia, which limits the understanding of variation among communities and the direction of the relationship between women’s agency and fertility in other global contexts. This study examines the relationship between women’s agency and fertility longitudinally and among communities in the most populous country in the Middle East-Egypt. For 3795 ever married women 15–49 years old in the 2006 and 2012 Egyptian Labor Market Panel Survey, multilevel models are estimated for having given birth and number of births between 2006 and 2012. Contrary to expectation, women with more agency with greater participation in household decision-making and mobility are, in fact, more likely to have had a birth and have a greater total number of births. Only women with more egalitarian attitudes are associated with fewer births. Community membership explains 5% of the variation in fertility. Since social norms in Egypt favor a higher number of births and labor market participation among women is low, women with agency could be fulfilling social expectations of having children and choosing to have more children.


Childbearing Behavior Before and After the 1994 Population Policies in Ghana

Abstract

Due to the high population growth rate in the mid-20th century, the government of Ghana introduced population policies to reduce the growth rate. Encouraging girls’ education and increasing contraceptive use were the two main policy measures to reduce population growth. In order to get a clear picture of the childbearing dynamics of Ghanaian women in response to the population policy of 1994, we analyzed individual reproductive histories from 1969 to 2003 using 2003 Ghana Demographic Health survey data to disentangle patterns by parity, calendar period, and educational groups. Exponential hazard regression models were used to estimate the relative risk of births. We find some evidence of a critical juncture in fertility trends, particularly for the fifth child. In addition, higher parity transition rates continuously declined for women with secondary or higher education and these educational levels were achieved by a higher share of the population after the policy was implemented. The 1994 population policy was successful if only by virtue of the increasing number of women with secondary or higher education. Belonging to this group is not only associated with lower fertility, but this suppressing effect strengthened in the years following the policy implementation. We also suspect that the increasing similarity between women with no education and with primary education reflects the diffusion of contraceptive knowledge and norms related to childbearing. The educational reform and contraceptive initiatives did result in increased education and contraceptive awareness and are therefore beneficial programs.


Cancer Screening Utilization Among U.S. Women: How Mammogram and Pap Test Use Varies Among Heterosexual, Lesbian, and Bisexual Women

Abstract

Existing research on cancer screening utilization among sexual minority women in the U.S. has mostly relied on non-random samples that combine lesbian and bisexual women into a single group. We respond to these limitations by examining the relationship between sexual orientation and cancer screening among a sample of U.S. women from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS). Our analytic sample includes 2273 lesbian, 1689 bisexual, and 174,839 heterosexual women interviewed in 15 U.S. states between 2000 and 2010. We examine two cancer screening measures: timely mammogram and pap tests, defined as having had a mammogram in the past 2 years for women aged 40 and older, and having had a pap test in the past 3 years for women aged 21–65. For mammogram, results showed that rates of timely use did not significantly differ by sexual orientation. However, lesbian and bisexual women report significantly lower rates of timely pap testing than heterosexual women. Logistic regression results on timely pap testing showed that lower pap test use for bisexual women is primarily driven by their poorer socioeconomic status relative to heterosexual women, while the significantly lower odds of timely pap testing for lesbian women were unaffected by control measures. Better understanding of cancer screening utilization disparities among lesbian and bisexual women is necessary to address morbidity and mortality disparities by sexual orientation.


Unemployment and Immigrant Receptivity Climate in Established and Newly Emerging Destination Areas

Abstract

This study examines whether the receptivity climate toward immigrants varies across traditional, new, and emerging Hispanic immigrant destinations in the U.S. and whether that climate is related to local unemployment rates and to the job-skill level of immigrants who settle in these places. We utilize unique, newly collected data to measure local labor market area immigrant receptivity climate based on content analysis of a random sample of all articles addressing immigrants/immigration which were published by local area newspapers from 1995 to 2010. The descriptive data show considerable diversity in local and regional immigrant receptivity patterns across the 380 U.S. labor market areas. Using annual labor market-specific unemployment rates, decadal measures of the educational attainment of immigrants and natives in the labor market area, and an annual summary measure of the immigrant receptivity climate, controlling for theoretically relevant labor market contextual characteristics, results from our regression models show that the immigrant receptivity climate is more negative where unemployment rates are higher. However, this relationship is evident only for new and non-destination areas compared with established immigrant destinations when control variables are considered. While a higher skill level of immigrants (a labor competition argument) is related to less negativity toward them, it does not explain the relationship between unemployment and immigrant receptivity climate. Overall, a high skill level of natives is the better explanation for a more positive immigrant receptivity climate.


Reconciling Forecasts of Infant Mortality Rates at National and Sub-National Levels: Grouped Time-Series Methods

Abstract

Mortality rates are often disaggregated by different attributes, such as sex, state, education, religion, or ethnicity. Forecasting mortality rates at the national and sub-national levels plays an important role in making social policies associated with the national and sub-national levels. However, base forecasts at the sub-national levels may not add up to the forecasts at the national level. To address this issue, we consider the problem of reconciling mortality rate forecasts from the viewpoint of grouped time-series forecasting methods (Hyndman et al. in, Comput Stat Data Anal 55(9):2579–2589, 2011). A bottom-up method and an optimal combination method are applied to produce point forecasts of infant mortality rates that are aggregated appropriately across the different levels of a hierarchy. We extend these two methods by considering the reconciliation of interval forecasts through a bootstrap procedure. Using the regional infant mortality rates in Australia, we investigate the one-step-ahead to 20-step-ahead point and interval forecast accuracies among the independent and these two grouped time-series forecasting methods. The proposed methods are shown to be useful for reconciling point and interval forecasts of demographic rates at the national and sub-national levels, and would be beneficial for government policy decisions regarding the allocations of current and future resources at both the national and sub-national levels.


Transitions Between Compensated Work Disability, Joblessness, and Self-Sufficiency: A Cohort Study 1997–2010 of Those Jobless in 1995

Abstract

Associations between unemployment, work, and disability have been researched in many studies. The findings are often based on cross-sectional data and single outcomes. The present study analysed multiple outcomes over a period of 15 years among long-term unemployed individuals. Based on all individuals aged 20–40 living in Sweden in 1995, prospective cohort analyses were conducted. Individual annual labour market proximity 1995–2010 was estimated and categorised into three mutually exclusive categories: “Jobless”, “Self-sufficient” (i.e. main income from work), or “Disabled”. Individuals in the category “Jobless” (n = 638,622) in 1995 constituted the study population. Using autoregressive multinomial logistic regression, transitions between the three states during 1997–2010 were analysed. Socio-economic factors, previous inpatient care, and national unemployment rates in different time periods were included in the regression models. Among those “Jobless” in 1995, 17 % were also “Jobless” in 2010, while 10 % were “Disabled” and 61 % “Self-sufficient”. The transitions were stable over time periods for transitions into “Self-sufficient” and “Disabled” but less so for “Jobless”. Previous state was the best predictor of subsequent state. “Jobless” individuals with previous morbidity had a higher transition probability into “Disabled” and a lower transition probability into “Self-sufficient”. The transition rates into “Self-sufficient” were higher in periods with lower unemployment levels. The study supports the interpretation that return to work was affected both by the individuals’ previous health status and by the national unemployment level. Transition from being “Jobless” into “Disability” may be influenced by previous ill health and by negative health effects of being “Jobless”.


Old Habits Die Hard? Lingering Son Preference in an Era of Normalizing Sex Ratios at Birth in South Korea

Abstract

South Korea was among the first countries to report both an abnormally high sex ratio at birth (SRB) and its subsequent normalization. We examine the role of son preference in driving fertility intentions during a period of declining SRB and consider the contribution of individual characteristics and broader social context to explaining changes in intentions. We employ data from the National Survey on Fertility, Family Health and Welfare that span 1991–2012. We find that reported son preference declined to a great extent but remained substantial by the end of the observation period, and that the intention to have a third child still differed by sex of existing children. Change in individual-level factors does not explain the decline in son preference, suggesting that broad social changes were also important. This study provides a better understanding of how son preference evolves in the post-transitional context of very low fertility.


The Effect of Cash Transfers on Fertility: Evidence from Argentina

Abstract

In 2009 Argentina introduced a large poverty-alleviation program (AUH) that provides monthly cash transfers per child to households without workers in the formal sector. In this paper we study the potential unintended effect of this program on fertility. We apply a difference-in-difference strategy comparing the probability of having a new child among eligible and ineligible mothers both before and after the program inception. The intention to treat estimations suggest a significant positive impact on fertility in households with at least one child (around 2 percentage points), but no significant effect on childless households. Given the short time window since the implementation of the AUH, we are unable to identify whether this positive effect reflects changes in the timing of births or in the equilibrium number of children.


Identifying Associations Between State Medicaid Expansion Decisions and Spatial Disparities in County Insurance Rate Changes Under the Affordable Care Act

Abstract

By the end of 2014, twenty-four states rejected Medicaid expansion, providing a unique opportunity to examine changes in insurance coverage rates after the implementation of the Affordable Care Act within and between states that did versus did not expand Medicaid. Using multilevel regression analyses of county-level non-elderly adult small area health insurance estimates (N = 3135) from the US Census Bureau, several important findings emerge. Compared to counties located in states that did not expand Medicaid, counties located in states that did expand experienced significantly larger increases in adult health insurance coverage rates between 2013 and 2014, net of the county baseline insurance coverage rate, socioeconomic and demographic composition, and labor market characteristics. In states that did not expand Medicaid, counties with larger shares of vulnerable residents (i.e., poor adults and low education) experienced lagging improvements in health insurance coverage. However, counties in states that expanded Medicaid were protected from several of these exacerbated disparities, and in some cases, experienced larger insurance coverage improvements than counties with less disadvantaged populations. These findings suggest that although insurance coverage increased in nearly all counties between 2013 and 2014, increases would have been larger and disparities would have been further alleviated if more states with highly concentrated vulnerable populations had expanded Medicaid.


Black–White Disparities in Adult Mortality: Implications of Differential Record Linkage for Understanding the Mortality Crossover

Abstract

Mortality rates among black individuals exceed those of white individuals throughout much of the life course. The black–white disparity in mortality rates is widest in young adulthood, and then rates converge with increasing age until a crossover occurs at about age 85 years, after which black older adults exhibit a lower mortality rate relative to white older adults. Data quality issues in survey-linked mortality studies may hinder accurate estimation of this disparity and may even be responsible for the observed black–white mortality crossover, especially if the linkage of surveys to death records during mortality follow-up is less accurate for black older adults. This study assesses black–white differences in the linkage of the 1986–2009 National Health Interview Survey to the National Death Index through 2011 and the implications of racial/ethnic differences in record linkage for mortality disparity estimates. Match class and match score (i.e., indicators of linkage quality) differ by race/ethnicity, with black adults exhibiting less certain matches than white adults in all age groups. The magnitude of the black–white mortality disparity varies with alternative linkage scenarios, but convergence and crossover continue to be observed in each case. Beyond black–white differences in linkage quality, this study also identifies declines over time in linkage quality and even eligibility for linkage among all adults. Although linkage quality is lower among black adults than white adults, differential record linkage does not account for the black–white mortality crossover.


Life Course Changes in Smoking by Gender and Education: A Cohort Comparison Across France and the United States

Abstract

Widening of educational disparities and a narrowing female advantage in mortality stem in good part from disparities in smoking. The changes in smoking and mortality disparities across cohorts and countries have been explained by an epidemic model of cigarette use but are also related to life course changes. To better describe and understand changing disparities over the life course, we compare age patterns of smoking in three cohorts and two nations (France and the US) using smoking history measures from the 2010 French health barometer (N = 20,940) and the 2010 US National Health Interview Survey Sample Adult File (N = 20,444). The results demonstrate statistically significant widening of gender and educational differences from adolescence to early and middle adulthood, thus accentuating the disparities already emerging during adolescence. In addition, the widening disparities over the life course have been changing across cohorts: age differences in educational disparities have grown in recent cohorts (especially in France), while age differences in gender disparities have narrowed. The findings highlight the multiple sources of inequality in smoking and health in high-income nations.


The Future Labor Force of an Aging Taiwan: The Importance of Education and Female Labor Supply

Abstract

This study uses multi-state cohort component projections and detailed vital statistics data to project the future Taiwanese population by age, sex, and education up to 2050. These are the first education-specific population projections for Taiwan, and they reveal how young highly educated cohorts during the next decades will replace older cohorts with lower levels of educational attainment. The results of the population projections enter our estimation of the future composition of the Taiwanese labor force. Incorporating education as an extra dimension in labor force projections allows us to make inferences about the quality of future labor supply in a rapidly aging Taiwan and the leverage of expanding economic activity across the life course, particularly of women. At present, women’s economic activity above age 25 in Taiwan is significantly lower than men’s and also much lower than women's in Western developed nations. Some of the expected adverse economic consequences of population aging can likely be alleviated by having a more educated and consequently more productive labor force. The overall results and conclusions of our study, though based on the Taiwanese context, apply to other Asian economies with rapidly aging populations and currently comparatively low levels of female labor force participation as well.


Determinants of Mexican-Origin Dropout: The Roles of Mexican Latino/a Destinations and Immigrant Generation

Abstract

Adolescents of Mexican origin have higher than average school dropout rates, but the risk of school non-enrollment among this subgroup varies substantially across geographic areas. This study conducts a multilevel logistic regression analysis of data from the 2005–2009 American Community Survey to evaluate whether spatial heterogeneity in school non-enrollment rates among Mexican-origin youth (n = 71,269) can be attributed to the histories of states and local areas as Mexican Latino/a receiving gateways. This study also determines whether the association between new destinations and school non-enrollment varies within the Mexican-origin population by nativity and duration of residence. Net of background controls, the risk of non-enrollment does not differ significantly between Mexican-origin youth living in states that are newer Mexican Latino/a gateways versus those in more established destinations, in part because Mexican-origin school non-enrollment rates are heterogeneous across newer destination states. At the more local Public Use Microdata Area level, however, Mexican-origin youth in newer gateways have a higher risk of non-enrollment than those in established destinations, revealing the importance of local-level contexts as venues for integration. The disparity in non-enrollment between Mexican-origin youth in new versus established destination PUMAs is apparent for all generational groups, but is widest among 1.25-generation adolescents who arrived in the country as teenagers, suggesting that local new destinations are particularly ill-equipped to deal with the educational needs of migrant newcomers.


J-Curve? A Meta-Analysis and Meta-Regression of Parity and Parental Mortality

Abstract

Research suggests that parity and parental health and mortality are associated significantly, although the pattern of association varies across studies. Studies ascribe long-term poor health (and mortality) to either low or high parity, and some studies show that both low and high parity increase the risk of adverse health for parents (i.e., forming a “J-shaped curve”). While a recent meta-analysis (Zeng et al., Sci Rep 6:19351, 2016) has partially addressed this gap in the literature, the present study further extends the literature by using a methodology that allows for more robust control of study heterogeneity and potential confounders. Using data on 223 measures of relative mortality risk from 37 studies, from samples gathered after 1945 from developed nations, meta-analysis and meta-regression (weighted linear regression) results show a nonlinear association (J-shaped curve) between parity and all-cause parental mortality, though the strength of the association varies by both sex and cohort. The results also suggest that the mortality hazard is partially explained by health selection effects.


Erratum to: Diverging Demography: Hispanic and Non-Hispanic Contributions to U.S. Population Redistribution and Diversity


Pregnancy and Dropout: Effects of Family, Neighborhood, and High School Characteristics on Girls’ Fertility and Dropout Status

Abstract

Administrative data from multiple sources are combined to measure pregnancy (excluding those ending in abortion or miscarriage) and high school dropout in a cohort of girls who were 9th graders in the 1994–1995 academic year. Rates of pregnancy (as identified in the data) and dropout are substantially higher among Hispanic high school students than among African-Americans or non-Hispanic whites. Previous studies of teen pregnancy and dropout typically focus on pregnancy rates conditional on dropout status, or dropout rates conditional on fertility. This paper presents estimates of pregnancy and dropout as a joint-dependent variable. Estimates of their joint probability distribution conditional on individual, family, neighborhood, and high school characteristics are reported. The estimates use longitudinal administrative data collected as annual censuses of all public school students in Texas with individual-level ids. Neighborhood characteristics (from the US Census data geographically linked to Texas high schools) have large effects on pregnancy and dropout. Immigrant Hispanic girls’ pregnancy rates are significantly lower than native-born Hispanic girls’ pregnancy rates. Above-normal-age status in the 9th grade is among the strongest predictors of pregnancy and dropout in later years. Ethnic differences in age distributions within grade level appear to explain a large share of ethnic differences in pregnancy and dropout rates.


Exploring New Life Course Patterns of Mother’s Continuing Secondary and College Education

Abstract

A mounting body of evidence suggests that the life course sequence that once defined contemporary US women’s lives is changing as an increasing number of women now complete their education after the transition to motherhood. Despite such evidence, we know little about this changing pattern of life course events for many US women. The aim of this study, therefore, is to produce population-based estimates that describe the prevalence of mothers’ school reentry and secondary and college degree attainment, the timing of women’s post-childbearing education vis-à-vis their transition into motherhood, and the characteristics of mothers who pursue additional schooling. To do so, the study draws on data from a nationally representative cohort of US women participating in the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (n = 4925) and descriptive and event-history techniques. Findings suggest that a substantial proportion of mothers (17 %) completed additional education after the transition to motherhood, especially mothers who had the lowest levels of education at their time of first birth (high school dropouts) (43 %). These mothers, who overwhelmingly earned high school degrees/GEDs, were most likely to do so within 5 years of giving birth, while mothers pursuing higher levels were more likely to do so when children were older. Mothers who pursued schooling after the transition to motherhood were remarkably more disadvantaged than women who followed the traditional sequencing of life course events. Compared to women who had the same education upon being mothers, they were also younger, more often poor, and had greater job instability but higher cognitive test scores.