Bilingual immigrants are healthier, according to new study
Bilingual immigrants are healthier than immigrants who speak only one language, according to new research from sociologists at Rice University.
The study, which appears in the March issue of the Journal of Health and Social Behavior, found that people with strong English and native language proficiencies report better physical and mental health than unilingual immigrants.
"Our research suggests that English proficiency gained at the expense of native-language fluency may not be beneficial for overall health status," said Rice alumna and Stanford University graduate student Ariela Schachter, who co-authored the research paper with Rice sociology professors Bridget Gorman and Rachel Tolbert Kimbro. "It's very important for the immigrants to hold on to their native language in addition to learning English."
The study examined associations between English and native-language proficiency and usage and self-rated health for more than 4,649 U.S. immigrants from China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Mexico, Cuba and Puerto Rico.
The research showed that the favorable health reported by bilingual immigrants is not impacted by factors such as socioeconomic status, acculturation, family and social support, stress and discrimination and health behaviors. The researchers theorize that the health benefits may be the result of a kind of "cultural flexibility" that allows them to easily integrate with their surroundings while maintaining cultural ties.
"Individuals who maintain native-language fluency while also learning English may be better equipped to retain relationships in their countries of origin and form new ones in the U.S.," Gorman said. "We believe this can help explain the positive relationship between bilingualism and self-rated health."
"There are still big questions about why bilingual immigrants are healthier than their unilingual counterparts," Kimbro said. "We hope our findings will encourage further research of the subject."
More information: Language Proficiency and Health Status: Are Bilingual Immigrants Healthier?: hsb.sagepub.com/co… 124.full.pdf
Provided by Rice University
- Bilingual immigrants report better health than speakers of one language Feb 29, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Researchers find first physical evidence bilingualism delays onset of Alzheimer's symptoms Oct 13, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Second language learners recall native language when reading Jun 01, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Perceptions of discrimination may adversely affect health of immigrants' children, study shows Mar 07, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Bilingual babies: The roots of bilingualism in newborns Feb 16, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Why is zone 1 in liver more prone to ischemic injury?
21 hours ago Hi, Is it because around central vein, there is only deoxygenated blood from the vein where as in the periphery there is hepatic artery. Also why...
How can there be villous adenoma in colon, if there are no villi there
May 22, 2013 As title suggest. Thanks :smile:
How can there be a term called "intestinal metaplasia" of stomach
May 21, 2013 Hello everyone, Ok Stomach's normal epithelium is simple columnar, now in intestinal type of adenocarcinoma of stomach it undergoes "intestinal...
Pressure-volume curve: Elastic Recoil Pressure don't make sense
May 18, 2013 From pressure-volume curve of the lung and chest wall (attached photo), I don't understand why would the elastic recoil pressure of the lung is...
If you became brain-dead, would you want them to pull the plug?
May 17, 2013 I'd want the rest of me to stay alive. Sure it's a lousy way to live but it beats being all-the-way dead. Maybe if I make it 20 years they'll...
MRI bill question
May 15, 2013 Dear PFers, The hospital gave us a $12k bill for one MRI (head with contrast). The people I talked to at the hospital tell me that they do not...
- More from Physics Forums - Medical Sciences
More news stories
A brief visual task can predict IQ, according to a new study. This surprisingly simple exercise measures the brain's unconscious ability to filter out visual movement. The study shows that individuals whose ...
Psychology & Psychiatry 13 hours ago | 4.4 / 5 (9) | 0 |
Nervous about that upcoming job interview? You might want to take steps to reduce your jitters, especially if you are a man.
Psychology & Psychiatry 14 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0
(Medical Xpress)—Research by U of T Mississauga psychology professor Glenn Schellenberg reveals that two key personality traits – openness-to-experience and conscientiousness—predict better than IQ ...
Psychology & Psychiatry 16 hours ago | 3 / 5 (2) | 1 |
Parents naturally are concerned for their children's safety, particularly when there is news of a child abduction that happens close to home. Finding the balance between emotions and the "teachable moment" as parents talk ...
Psychology & Psychiatry 16 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
A new report on suicide in Ireland shows that suicide cases experienced a significant number (and intensity) of life events in the 6 months prior to their death.
Psychology & Psychiatry 16 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
(Medical Xpress)—Regulating the distribution of power in neurons is done by a system that makes the national electric grid look simple by comparison. Each neuron has several thousand mitochondria confined ...
7 hours ago | 4.8 / 5 (5) | 0 |
High blood glucose is associated with poor outcomes in hospitalized patients, and use of intensive insulin therapy (IIT) to control hyperglycemia is a common practice in hospitals. But the recent evidence does not show a ...
1 hour ago | not rated yet | 0
Teams of highly respected Alzheimer's researchers failed to replicate what appeared to be breakthrough results for the treatment of this brain disease when they were published last year in the journal Science.
11 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 2 |
Scientists at the National Institutes of Health report they have discovered in mouse studies that a small molecule released in the spinal cord triggers a process that is later experienced in the brain as ...
11 hours ago | 5 / 5 (2) | 0 |
Little is known about why asthma develops, how it constricts the airway or why response to treatments varies between patients. Now, a team of researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College, Columbia University Medical Center ...
11 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
Ethnic background plays a surprisingly large role in how diabetes develops on a cellular level, according to two new studies led by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.
9 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |