Adolescent Survival Expectations: Variations by Race, Ethnicity, and Nativity

Tara D. Warner, Raymond R. Swisher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Adolescent survival expectations are linked to a range of problem behaviors, poor health, and later socioeconomic disadvantage, yet scholars have not examined how survival expectations are differentially patterned by race, ethnicity, and/or nativity. This is a critical omission given that many risk factors for low survival expectations are themselves stratified by race and ethnicity. Using the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health, we modeled racial, ethnic, and immigrant group differences in trajectories of adolescent survival expectations and assess whether these differences are accounted for by family, neighborhood, and/or other risk factors (e.g., health care access, substance use, exposure to violence). Findings indicated that most racial, ethnic, and immigrant groups were more pessimistic about their survival than were non-Hispanic whites, with the exception of Cuban youth, who were the most optimistic. Foreign-born Mexican youth had the lowest survival expectations, contrary to expectations from the “healthy-immigrant” hypothesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)478-494
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Health and Social Behavior
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015


  • adolescence
  • immigration
  • life course
  • subjective health
  • survival expectations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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