Disability and self-rated health: Exploring foreign- and U.S.-born differences across adulthood

Shane D. Burns, Elizabeth H. Baker, Connor M. Sheehan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


There is limited inquiry regarding how immigrant status intersects with disability to influence health across adulthood. As the U.S. population continues to age, especially immigrants, understanding how disability influences health is imperative. Using 2010–2018 National Health Interview Survey data (n = 461,010) and logistic regression models, we investigate how differences in reporting Activity of Daily Living (ADL) disability influence reports of self-rated health (SRH) between foreign- and U.S.-born respondents (ages 25+) by race/ethnicity (non-Hispanic White, non-Hispanic Black, Hispanic, and non-Hispanic Asian) by age group (25–64 and 65+). Among those ages 25–64, foreign-born respondents generally report lower or similar rates of fair/poor SRH and ADL disability when compared to their U.S.-born peers. Among those ages 65+, we find that foreign-born respondents are at greater risk of fair/poor SRH compared to their U.S.-born peers. Additionally, while having ADL disability greatly increases the likelihood of fair/poor SRH, the impact of this association differs by race/ethnicity/nativity and age. Among those 25–64, having ADL disability appears to be especially, negatively impactful for SRH among foreign-born groups, particularly Hispanics and non-Hispanic Whites. However, among those ages 65+, having ADL disability is less impactful on the SRH of foreign-born respondents, especially non-Hispanic Blacks and Hispanics. Our findings shed new light on marginalization-related diminished returns by showing how ADL disability influences SRH differently between foreign-born groups across adulthood.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100112
JournalJournal of Migration and Health
StatePublished - Jan 2022


  • ADL
  • Aging
  • Disability
  • Healthy immigrant effect
  • Marginalization-related diminished returns
  • Self-rated health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Demography
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Infectious Diseases


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