Mosi Ifatunji et al., “Black Nativity and Health Disparities: A Research Paradigm for Understanding the Social Determinants of Health”

After more than a century of research and debate, the scientific community has yet to reach agreement on the principal causes of racialized disparities in population health. This debate currently centers on the degree to which “race residuals” are a result of unobserved differences in the social context or unobserved differences in population characteristics. The comparative study of native and foreign-born Black populations represents a quasi-experimental design where race is “held constant”. Such studies present a unique opportunity to improve our understanding of the social determinants of population health disparities. Since native and foreign-born Black populations occupy different sociocultural locations, and since populations with greater African ancestry have greater genetic diversity, comparative studies of these populations will advance our understanding of the complex relationship between sociocultural context, population characteristics and health outcomes. Therefore, we offer a conceptual framing for the comparative study of native and foreign-born Blacks along with a review of 208 studies that compare the mental and physical health of these populations. Although there is some complexity, especially with respect to mental health, the overall pattern is that foreign-born Blacks have better health outcomes than native-born Blacks. After reviewing these studies, we conclude with suggestions for future studies in this promising area of social and medical research
Read the full article at: