Irma T. Elo's Pilot Awards

  • Health and Well-being of African Migrants in the US and in their Country of Origin

    Abstract: 

    Black migrants represent a small but growing share of recent migration flows from foreign countries to the United States. Among black migrants, Sub-Saharan Africans are an important and rapidly growing share of the total foreign-born US black population.  Yet, we know relatively little about their health and well-being in the United States and even less about their families and communities in Sub-Saharan Africa.  The goal of this pilot project is to lay the foundation for a grant application to the National Institute of Aging to better understand the impact of migration from Africa on the health and wellbeing of the migrants as well as their families in the United States and Africa. The research will provide important evidence on the impact of migration to the United States on family members left behind in Africa, many of whom are elderly and rely on remittances from those who have left. The research will be conducted in the United States and Ghana.

    Specifically, the project will:
    1. Conduct analyses of Ghanaian and US Census data to identify a research design to efficiently sample migrants from Ghana to the U.S. in a longitudinal design;
    2. Test field protocols for sampling of those individuals and their families living in the U.S. and in Ghana and following those who move across the border; and
    3. Develop and test survey instruments and biomarker measurement protocols for a study of health and well-being of migrants in the United States, their family and community members in Ghana in comparison with a those who do not migrate.

    Sampling, tracing and interviewing migrants and their families across international borders is far from straightforward. It is, however, critically important for providing scientific evidence of the impact of migration at the population level. This pilot will rigorously evaluate different sampling and recruitment strategies to assure the success of the application for a large-scale study to be submitted to the NIA and elsewhere.

    We have selected Ghana for this project because, first, among Sub-Saharan Africans, Ghanaians represent the third largest group in the U.S. and, second, we have begun building a collaborative team with first-rate population and health scientists at several different institutes in the University of Ghana. The longer-term goal is to build a collaborative network of comparable research activities on international migration in several African countries.

    Funded By: 
    PARC
    Award Dates: 
    July 1, 2013 - June 30, 2014
    PARC Grant Year: 
    Year 20
  • Do parents in developing countries benefit from their children's education at old age?

    Abstract: 
    This project investigates whether adult children's educational attainment improves the health of their elderly parents and determines the transfer of monetary and in-kind support to parents using two waves of the Mexican Health and Aging Study (MHAS). Specifically, we propose to study: (1) Whether adult children's education causes better health outcomes of their elderly parents and whether these effects vary by child-specific characteristics (e.g., sex, birth order, relationship to parents-biological, adopted, step child) and/or for mothers and fathers; (2) Whether children's education determines provision of in-kind and monetary support to aging parents and whether this provision varies by child-specific characteristics and for mothers and fathers; and (3) The feasibility of estimating similar models with other developing country datasets for preparation of an R01 application to the National Institute of Aging (NIA) to permit comparisons across different country contexts. To account for unobserved family characteristics and endogeneity of children's education, we use both fixed-effect (FE) and instrumental variable (IV) approaches.
    Funded By: 
    P30 Pilots
    Award Dates: 
    July 1, 2010 - June 30, 2011
    PARC Grant Year: 
    Year 17
  • Trends in Socioeconomic Differentials in Mortality

    Abstract: 

    This study will extend previous analyses of trends in socioeconomic inequality in all cause and cause-specific mortality by age and sex in the United States by investigating whether these trends have been similar among whites and African Americans and by relating these findings to trends in the distribution of risk factors, such as obesity and smoking. The data come from Kitagawa and Hauser study for 1960, and the National Longitudinal Mortality Study (NLMS) and the National Health Interview Survey (1987-1994) linkage to the National Death Index for later decades. The Slope Index of Inequality (SII) is used to examine both absolute and relative differentials in inequality, as well as the percentage contribution of various cause-of-death groups to absolute inequality. The SII provides an estimate of how much change in death rates is associated with increased educational attainment. The second measure we employ is the Index of Dissimilarity, which is widely used in the social sciences as a summary measure of the difference between two distributions. In our case the two distributions to be compared are the distributions of deaths (all or cause-specific) and population at risk of dying by educational attainment. The same method will be adapted whenever possible to examine risk factor distributions by educational attainment over time. The results of these analyses will help determine whether the documented increase in socioeconomic inequalities in mortality between 1960 and the 1980s has continued into the 1990s. The cause-specific investigations together with the analyses of trends in mortality risk factors by SES will point to areas where public health interventions might be most effective. The results will also provide input into further studies designed to illuminate the processes that link SES to health and mortality.

    Funded By: 
    PARC
    Award Dates: 
    July 1, 2002 - June 30, 2003
    PARC Grant Year: 
    Year 9
  • Socioeconomic Differentials in Mortality in Finland and the US: the role of income and education

    Abstract: 
    Socioeconomic status is considered by many to be a fundamental cause of disease and death. In this paper, we document educational and income inequalities in all-cause and cause-specific mortality at ages 35-64 in Finland and the United States, two countries with different health care systems, income distributions, and social welfare programs for the working-age population. We found that education is an independent determinant of premature mortality for men and women in both countries after adjustment for age, household size, family income, marital status, and labor force participation. Educational inequalities in mortality in both places were most pronounced for causes of death that were linked to health behaviors, risk-taking behaviors, and stress. These educational inequalities were largest for Finnish men, for whom the association between education and mortality was linear. For Finnish women and for American men and women educational thresholds mattered more than each additional year of schooling. The association between family income and mortality was curvilinear in both countries. The degree of curvature was more pronounced in the United States than in Finland when family-income effects were adjusted only for age and household size. When we also controlled for education, labor force participation, and marital status the income effects were strongly attenuated and the difference in curvature between countries was no longer statistically significant. That increases in family income were more important for reducing mortality at the lower end of the income distribution in both countries suggests that there are diminishing returns to family income, and poverty is detrimental to health. The findings suggest that effects of an individual's socioeconomic position on mortality, whether measured by education or family income, are to a large extent independent of how society is organized.
    Funded By: 
    PARC
    Award Dates: 
    July 1, 2003 - June 30, 2004
    PARC Grant Year: 
    Year 10
  • Early life conditions and familial correlations in cause-specific mortality

    Abstract: 
    The purpose of this study is to investigate the effects of early life socioeconomic status, place of birth, and household structure on cause-specific mortality and familial clustering of cause-specific mortality in Finland during the latter half of the twentieth century. We base the analyses on a 10% sample of households drawn from the 1950 Finnish Census of Population with the follow-up of household members in subsequent censuses and death records beginning in 1970 through 2005. The proposed project is a first in a series of anticipated longitudinal analyses of individuals and families over a 50 year period. The results of the proposed project will contribute to the accumulating evidence on the associations of early life conditions on adult mortality and familial clustering of mortality. The Finnish data constitute a unique register based data set that does not rely on individual recall of early life conditions, educational attainment, occupations, and other life course trajectories
    Funded By: 
    PARC
    Award Dates: 
    July 1, 2008 - June 30, 2009
    PARC Grant Year: 
    Year 15
  • Race/Ethnic and Immigrant Differences in Disability: What Can We Learn from the 2000 Census of Population

    Abstract: 
    The purpose of this study is to investigate race/ethnic differences in disability in the United States with an emphasis on immigrant populations and their U.S. born counterparts. The study utilizes the 5% PUMS sample from the 2000 Census of Population; the 2000 Census included a new set of questions on disability. The Census provides the most comprehensive information on race/ethnicity available in US data sources and the size of the 5% sample makes the Census the only data source that permits detailed analyses of health status among smaller race/ethnic subgroups in the United States. These data will be used to investigate race/ethnic differences in disability by age, place of birth, and length of stay in the United Sates, with and without controls for other individual and household-level characteristics. The results of the proposed analyses will advance our understanding of variations in health status among native-born and foreign-born Hispanics, NH-Whites, African-origin populations, and Asian Americans, including subpopulations within these broad race/ethnic groups.
    Funded By: 
    PARC
    Funded By: 
    NICHD
    Award Dates: 
    July 1, 2006 - June 30, 2007
    PARC Grant Year: 
    Year 13