Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Brown, Dustin C.

Committee Member

Ralston, Margaret L.

Committee Member

Barranco, Raymond Edward

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Through the lens of the Hispanic Paradox, this thesis examines healthy and unhealthy life expectancy changes occurring from 1997 to 2015 among Hispanics, non-Hispanic blacks, and non-Hispanic whites in the United States. The goal is to determine how Hispanics –disaggregated by nativity status– fare relative to other racial-ethnic groups in regard to changes in the percentage of total life expectancy that is lived in a healthy state (i.e. compression and expansion of morbidity). Using the Sullivan method, multi-state life tables were created with functional limitation prevalence data from the National Health Interview Survey. Results indicate that most subpopulation groups experienced periods of both morbidity compression and expansion from 1997 to 2015, though patterns of change varied by race-ethnicity and gender. Partial support was found for the Hispanic paradox given that similar trends in the percentage of total life expectancy lived disabilityree existed between non-Hispanic whites and foreign-born Hispanics.