The Effect of Household Structure, Social Support, Neighborhood and Policy Context on Financial Strain: Evidence from the Hispanic EPESE

Carlos Diaz-Venegas, University of Texas at Austin
Karl Eschbach, University of Texas Medical Branch

Objectives. We investigate the relationship between individual and community characteristics and financial strain among older Mexican Americans. Methods. Data are from 2,734 non-proxy-assisted respondents to the baseline wave of the Hispanic EPESE, a probability sample of community-dwelling Mexican Americans age 65 and older residing in five southwestern states. We estimated mixed (random-intercept) models with fixed effects for individual and neighborhood characteristics, for the odds of reporting financial strain, with adjustment for dependency on 5 nearest neighbors. Results. In fully adjusted models, residence in an ethnic enclave, high poverty, rural and mature neighborhoods were associated with increased perceived financial strain. Older age was associated with lower strain, while Spanish language use increased strain. Effects of living arrangements and social support were modest. Conclusion. Findings suggest that retention of immigrant/ethnic personal cultural characteristics is associated with increase experience of financial strain, while residence in barrio neighborhoods increases strain for Mexican American elderly.

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Presented in Poster Session 2