Sociology, Department of


Physical Functioning and Disability Trajectories by Age of Migration Among Mexican Elders in the United States

Date of this Version



J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci, 2018, Vol. 73, No. 7, 1292–1302 doi:10.1093/geronb/gbw167


© The Author(s) 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Gerontological Society of America

Link to free pdf at Oxford UP site


Objectives: To address a gap in our understanding of the long-term consequences of nativity and age of migration for the health of the Mexican elderly population.

Method: We employ age graded latent growth curve models stratified by gender to examine the extent of physical functioning and disability, measured in terms of performance-oriented mobility assessments (POMAs) and activities of daily living (ADLs) after age 65 in a large longitudinal sample of Mexican-origin individuals.

Results: Self-care measured ADLs show no age of migration differences. However, physical capacity measured POMAs differ significantly for men and women by age of migration. Migrants who arrived in midlife have fewer functional limitations at age 65 but have steeper increase in POMAs with age.

Discussion: With a rapidly changing demographic profile that includes a large number of aging Mexican-origin immigrants, our society must implement social and health policies to ameliorate the negative health outcomes among immigrant and U.S.-born minority groups.