Health of Children Adopted . . .

Wojtek Sokolowski sokol at
Wed Jul 15 11:42:24 PDT 1998

At 10:18 AM 7/15/98 -0700, you wrote:
>From a different angle and composition-
>There's an interesting abstract entitled "Health of Children Adopted
>From the Former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe" on the Journal of the
>American Medical Association's web-site
>The abstract is dated September 17, 1997.
>The scope of the study is quite puny (56 children), but the results
>include, "multiple unfamiliar neurologic diagnoses" per medical records
>from the birth countries

IMHO, the AMA should shut up when it comes to health care in Eastern Europe, for this country has no health care but health business.

Here is yet another angle, this time of the effects of living in the 'richest country of the world' on immigrant children, conducted by researchers at U of N. Carolina at Chapel Hill.

July 14, 1998

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (UPI) - Becoming

Americanized may be harmful to the health

of immigrant children.

Researchers have found that children born

abroad and who come to the U.S. with their

parents are healthier and engage in less risky

behavior than their American-born brothers

and sisters, and even their own American- born children.

In a national survey carried out by the

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

researchers found that foreign-born children

living in the U.S. had better general health,

missed less school due to health or

emotional problems, had less learning

difficulties than their U.S.-born relatives.

Foreign-born children were also less obese,

suffered fewer cases of asthma. They also

engaged in less risky behavior involving

sexual intercourse, unprotected sex,

delinquency, violence and substance use.

Even among foreign-born youth, statistical

analysis showed the longer the time since

arrival in the United States, the poorer was

adolescents' physical health and the greater

the likelihood of engaging in risky behaviors.

Kathleen Mullan Harris, a professor of

sociology at the University of North

Carolina, says, ''People think immigrant

children are deviant and bad for our society.

''But in fact it's the other way around; we're

bad for them.''

She adds, ''The second generation has an

easier time adapting to U.S. society but that

but what that adaptation means in fact is

worse health. ''

Mexican, Central and South American,

Filipino and other Asian youth showed the

strongest negative effects from becoming

''Americanized,'' the research shows.

But Harris does not know why this is so.

She is continuing the analysis of the data

drawn from a survey of 20,000 adolescents,

and their parents, teachers, relatives, and


Much of the explanation according to Harris

is likely to be found in the children's families,

schools, peers and neighborhood.

From analysis of the data so far Harris has

found that parents exercise more control

over their foreign born children. They have

higher educational expectations of these


She says, ''When you are an immigrant and

your child is an immigrant a parent will make

a special effort to give that child special


Though some might be astonished at the

harmful effects of Americanization descents

of immigrants these results should be

expected according to J. Richard Udry, a

designer of the survey and professor of

sociology at the University of North Carolina

Udry says, ''We shouldn't be surprised that

this happens. We should be surprised if they

stayed just like the people in the countries

that they came from.''

A report on the study will appear later this

fall in the National Research Council book,

''Children of Immigrants: Health,

Adjustment, and Public Assistance.''

Copyright 1998 UPI. All rights reserved.

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