Social integration and self-reported health: differences between immigrants and natives in Greece
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionEuropean Journal of Public Health. 2018, 28 48-53. 10.1093/eurpub/cky206
Background Our paper assesses the relationship between social integration, in terms of social contact and social trust, and one’s individual health. While a large body of research already engaged with clarifying this relationship, we know little about the role one’s immigration background plays in moderating this relationship. With respect to this, we explicitly focus on how one’s immigrant status moderates the relationship between social integration and self-reported health. Previous literature has demonstrably shown that the less socially integrated individuals are, the less likely they are to report good health. Moreover, we know from social capital literature that immigrants have difficulties being socially connected in their host country. Methods With the help of the new MIGHEAL survey, we test this proposed negative relationship. We also compare the results from the MIGHEAL data with findings from the European Social Survey round 7. Our analyses follow a thorough approach testing immigrant background as potential moderating factors. We implement logistic regression models and path analysis to reveal the complex interactive relationship between social integration, immigrant status and self-reported health. Results/Conclusion Our results suggest that immigrant status does play a moderating role in the relationship between social integration and health. This role, however, is limited to the relationship between social activity and self-reported health, which points to a potential endogenous effect.