Columbia Population Research Center
is pleased to invite you to a panel on:
“States Matter: Politics, Policies, Programs, & Health”
Wednesday, February 8th, 2017
3:30pm - 5:00pm
Jerome Greene Hal, Room 107
435 West 116th Street
From the Affordable Care Act to reproductive choice, at the national level there is a great deal of turmoil and uncertainty regarding policies that shape health. Sometimes lost in that conversation is the critical role that policies and programs at the state or municipal level play in shaping population health. In this panel, CPRC faculty will share recent research on how politics as well as state-level policies and programs affect health outcomes.
STATE POLICIES AND LGBT HEALTH
Presented by Mark Hatzenbuehler, Associate Professor of Sociomedical SciencesAbstract
Social policies targeting lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) persons have proliferated in the last two decades and have generated public support and animus, both domestically and internationally. Policies not only mirror the environment; they also generate and perpetuate a social context that threatens and constrains the lives of LGBT individuals, which may have important health consequences. In the current talk, I will present data from several empirical studies documenting how social policies that differentially target sexual minorities (e.g., constitutional amendments banning same-sex marriage, anti-bullying policies) contribute to sexual orientation disparities in mental health.
WIC MATTERS: HOW NY STATE WIC PROGRAM CHANGES ARE SUPPORTING HEALTHY LIVING HABITS AMONG PRE-SCHOOLERS IN NEW YORK STATE
Presented by Sally Findley, Professor of Population and Family Health & Sociomedical SciencesAbstract
In 2009, New York State was the first state to implement the mandated changes to the WIC program food package and related educational program for pregnant and lactating women, infants and children up to age 5. Based on surveys conducted in 2010 and 2014, we chart the changes in several key child obesity prevention behaviors since the implementation of the new package. Overweight and obesity prevalence declined from 2010 to 2014 for children in WIC. The 2014 survey controls for exposure to the WIC program, showing that the children were more consistently in WIC demonstrated more of the recommended healthy eating and living behaviors.
POLICY PROCESSES IN AMERICAN STATE LEGISLATURES
Presented by Constance Nathanson, Professor of Sociomedical Sciences & Population and Family HealthAbstract
When, whether, and under what circumstances do American state legislators use research evidence—science based information—to inform public health related legislation? Findings from a comparative qualitative study of six states indicate that a necessary condition for legislators’ acquisition and use of research evidence is the presence of long-term trust-based relationships with knowledgeable experts.
ANTI-IMMIGRANT POLICIES AND LATINO MENTAL HEALTH: A STATE-LEVEL ANALYSIS
Presented by Jennifer Hirsch, Professor of Sociomedical SciencesAbstract
RATIONALE: Despite abundant state-level policy activity in the U.S. related to immigration, no research has examined the mental health impact of the overall policy climate for Latinos, taking into account both inclusionary and exclusionary legislation. OBJECTIVE: To examine associations between the state-level policy climate related to immigration and mental health outcomes among Latinos. METHODS: We created a multi-sectoral policy climate index that included 14 policies in four domains (immigration, race/ethnicity, language, and agricultural worker protections). We then examined the relation of this policy climate index to two mental health outcomes (days of poor mental health and psychological distress) among Latinos from 31 states in the 2012 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), a population-based health survey of non-institutionalized individuals aged 18 years or older. RESULTS: Individuals in states with a more exclusionary immigration policy climate had higher rates of poor mental health days than participants in states with a less exclusionary policy climate (RR: 1.05, 95% CI: 1.00, 1.10). The association between state policies and the rate of poor mental health days was significantly higher among Latinos versus non-Latinos (RR for interaction term: 1.03, 95% CI: 1.01, 1.06). Furthermore, Latinos in states with a more exclusionary policy climate had 1.14 (95% CI: 1.04, 1.25) times the rate of poor mental health days than Latinos in states with a less exclusionary policy climate. Results were robust to individual- and state-level confounders. Sensitivity analyses indicated that results were specific to immigration policies, and not indicators of state political climate or of residential segregation. No relationship was observed between the immigration policy index and psychological distress. CONCLUSION: These results suggest that restrictive immigration policies may be detrimental to the mental health of Latinos in the United States.