Research Areas


Processes of immigration and migration shape the demographic profile and health of the United States, and, increasingly, the world’s populations and are central to current public policy debates. Between 1990 and 2000, the foreign-born population in the United States grew by more than half, from 19.8 to 31.1 million, or 11% of the total population. The rising number of immigrants in the U.S. points to a clear need for interdisciplinary approaches to develop theories, interventions, and policies that are relevant and appropriate to diverse populations. Focusing on specific communities in New York City and abroad, the work of the various Columbia faculty members in the Immigration/Migration primary area addresses this need. A hallmark of their approach is the critical analysis of existing frameworks as well as the development of new perspectives on immigrant health that bear directly on current debates in migration/immigration, both in the U.S. and abroad.

Integrating research from faculty in the Mailman School of Public Health, the School of Social Work, and the School of Arts and Sciences, our work covers a wide range of topics, including:

  • Examining if the Latino mortality paradox holds across generations (Ana Abraído-Lanza)
  • Identifying the determinants of differing ‘trajectories’ of migrant settlement, and the implications of transnational migration patterns on local integration (Alastair Ager)
  • Applying "segmented assimilation" to health and understanding the impact of U.S. social stratification on immigrant adaptation and health trajectories over time (Lisa Bates)
  • Clinical intervention research on depression, grief, PTSD and other trauma responses among immigrants and Native Peoples (Maria Yellow Horse Braveheart)
  • Cross-national comparisons of patterns of immigrants’ and earnings assimilation of immigrants in Israel, Germany, and the USA (Yinon Cohen)
  • Mental health needs, referral patterns, and barriers to accessing mental health services for African Diaspora populations (African Americans, African immigrants, and Caribbean immigrants) with HIV/AIDS (Pamela Collins)
  • Evaluating youth reproductive health programs in the Dominican Republic (Profamilia) (Linda Cushman)
  • Latino public opinion and electoral involvement (Rodolfo De La Garza)
  • Migration streams within the West African system via analysis of the West African Migration network data (Sally Findley)
  • The development of HIV-prevention programs and AIDS-treatment programs for rural and urban adolescents, adults and families in India (Vincent Guilamo-Ramos)
  • Examining the developmental experiences of children, from kindergarten to adolescent years, in immigrant families, with a special focus on the influence of school environments (Wen-Jui Han)
  • How policies and events affect the well-being of low-income families, with a special emphasis on immigrants (Neeraj Kaushal)


Sally E. Findley, Professor of Clinical Population and Family Health and Clinical Sociomedical Sciences,

Neeraj Kaushal, Associate Professor of Social Work,

Yao Lu, Assistant Professor of Social Work,