Immigrant Children and Overweight: Could Maternal Employment Be a Contributing Factor?

Elizabeth H. Baker, Bowling Green State University
Kelly Balistreri, Bowling Green State University

Research suggests that immigrant children are more susceptible to overweight with increasing time spent in the United States, and that Hispanic children being far more likely to experience weight problems than their white non-Hispanic counterparts. Balistreri and Van Hook (2006) found a curvilinear relationship between SES and overweight for immigrant children suggesting that as immigrant children move from low SES to middle SES the propensity for overweight increases and then falls again as they move from middle SES to high SES. One possible explanation for this relationship is that maternal employment may be most prevalent among middle SES immigrant families and that maternal employment may increase overweight because employed mothers may be more dependent on high calorie prepared foods. We test this idea for white and Hispanic children using the Early Childhood Longitudinal Survey fifth grade wave.

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Presented in Poster Session 5