MA Research Paper


Master of Arts




Dr. Anna Zajacova

Delay of Publication



Eastern European immigrants are one of the largest groups of immigrants in the United States. However, little is known about their health outcomes after arrival to the US. This study addresses the importance of differentiating Eastern European immigrants as a distinct category of immigrants with health outcomes that may differ from those born in the US, or other immigrants. This study examined the health of Eastern European immigrants in the United States, by focusing on three measures of disability – ambulatory, independent living, and self-care difficulties – and comparing them to US-born Whites and to other immigrants. The study uses the 2018 wave of the American Community Survey (ACS) Public Use Microdata Sample (PUMS) of adults over the age of 40 (N = 1,440,928), to evaluate the odds of disability as a function of birthplace and race/ethnicity. The results of the study show that Eastern European (EE) immigrants have significantly higher odds of independent living difficulties and self-care difficulties when compared to their US-born peers, but there is no difference between the odds of ambulatory difficulties in EE immigrants compared to White US-born individuals. The differences were not explained by demographic variables, education, year of immigration of socioeconomic & work status of the EE immigrants. The findings of the study suggest that more attention needs to be given to the health outcomes of White immigrants to the United States, since there could be significant health disparities occurring within various White ethnic groups.

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