Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

First Advisor

Jason Boardman

Second Advisor

Jane Menken

Third Advisor

Richard Rogers

Fourth Advisor

Stefanie Mollborn

Fifth Advisor

Fernando Riosmena


In my dissertation research I dive deeper into the “Hispanic Health Paradox” – a pattern wherein Hispanic individuals often exhibit better health than other race/ethnic groups, even though they generally have lower socioeconomic standing. I examine the role Hispanic neighborhoods may play in the Hispanic Health Paradox by using electronic health records from over 150,000 adults in Denver, Colorado to document health differences between Hispanic and non-Hispanic groups. I find that Hispanic neighborhoods in Denver are associated with diverse health patterns, including higher rates of obesity but lower rates of depression. Hispanic neighborhoods also have lower rates of health inequality between Hispanic and non-Hispanic white residents compared to other types of neighborhoods. To understand these diverse findings and the literature more broadly, I propose a neighborhood health heterogeneity framework. I argue that multilevel intersectionality and cultural heterogeneity may be some of the mechanisms through which the same neighborhoods can produce diverse health outcomes for residents. I also test new statistical measures of Hispanic neighborhoods, and test the effects of measurement, geography, and spatial contiguity on my findings.