Sociology, Department of


Document Type


Date of this Version



Res Aging. 2018 June ; 40(5): 411–431.


HHS Public Access



Prior research indicates age of migration is associated with cognitive health outcomes among older Mexican Americans; however, factors that explain this relationship are unclear. This study used eight waves from the Hispanic Established Populations for the Epidemiologic Study of the Elderly to examine the role of education in the risk for cognitive impairment (CI) by nativity, age of migration, and gender. Foreign-born women had a higher risk for CI than U.S.-born women, regardless of age of migration. After adjusting for education, this risk remained significant only for late-life migrant women (risk ratio [RR] = 1.28). Foreign-born men who migrated at >50 had significantly higher risk for CI compared to U.S.-born men (RR = 1.33) but not significant after adjusting for education. Findings from a decomposition analysis showed education significantly mediated the association between age of migration and CI. This study highlights the importance of education in explaining the association between age of migration and CI.