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Journal Article


Maldonado A, Collins TW, Grineski SE, Chakraborty J. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016; 13(8): e13080775.


Department of Sociology & Anthropology, University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, TX 79968, USA.


(Copyright © 2016, MDPI: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute)






Although numerous studies have been conducted on the vulnerability of marginalized groups in the environmental justice (EJ) and hazards fields, analysts have tended to lump people together in broad racial/ethnic categories without regard for substantial within-group heterogeneity. This paper addresses that limitation by examining whether Hispanic immigrants are disproportionately exposed to risks from flood hazards relative to other racial/ethnic groups (including US-born Hispanics), adjusting for relevant covariates. Survey data were collected for 1283 adult householders in the Houston and Miami Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) and flood risk was estimated using their residential presence/absence within federally-designated 100-year flood zones. Generalized estimating equations (GEE) with binary logistic specifications that adjust for county-level clustering were used to analyze (separately) and compare the Houston (N = 546) and Miami (N = 560) MSAs in order to clarify determinants of household exposure to flood risk. GEE results in Houston indicate that Hispanic immigrants have the greatest likelihood, and non-Hispanic Whites the least likelihood, of residing in a 100-year flood zone. Miami GEE results contrastingly reveal that non-Hispanic Whites have a significantly greater likelihood of residing in a flood zone when compared to Hispanic immigrants. These divergent results suggest that human-flood hazard relationships have been structured differently between the two MSAs, possibly due to the contrasting role that water-based amenities have played in urbanization within the two study areas. Future EJ research and practice should differentiate between Hispanic subgroups based on nativity status and attend to contextual factors influencing environmental risk disparities.

Language: en


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