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Study: Education levels in Asian American neighborhoods affect residents' health
Date:11/8/2012

WASHINGTON, DC, November 8, 2012 Higher neighborhood education is associated with better self-rated health among Asian Americans who live in Asian ethnic neighborhoods, but this correlation between individual health and neighborhood education levels does not exist for Asian Americans living in non-Asian neighborhoods, according to a recent study in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior.

"When Asian Americans live in neighborhoods that are not Asian ethnic neighborhoods, the education level of the neighborhood doesn't affect their health," says Emily Walton, an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Dartmouth College, whose study considered 1,962 Asian Americans living in 256 neighborhoods in large metropolitan areas across the United States. The data set for her research was taken from the National Latino and Asian American Study (NLAAS, 2003-04).

"Why would we think that education matters in a neighborhood?" she asks. "Research suggests that when a population is highly educated they may advocate for certain neighborhood resources or institutions; that the rising tide of education in the neighborhood lifts everyone, even those individuals who may not have high educational attainment themselves. In the context of an Asian ethnic neighborhood, these institutions and resources accompanying higher levels of education may be culturally and socially oriented toward the group, and thus more effective in supporting health."

Walton also found that while Asian Americans experience less discrimination when living in Asian neighborhoods, levels of social cohesion are not different from those of non-Asian neighborhoods. "This goes against conventional wisdom, which often explains better health among residents of ethnic enclaves as a result of the social support and connection they feel with members of their same racial group," says Walton, who joined the sociology faculty in July 2012.

Walton's findings are at odds with the hi
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Contact: Daniel Fowler
pubinfo@asanet.org
202-527-7885
American Sociological Association
Source:Eurekalert

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