Houston Chronicle (Internet / Print) 02/20/06 http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/front/3671358.html Kyriakos Markides coined the phrase in his research at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. His 1986 study was the first to underscore how Hispanics, despite their socioeconomic status, have lower infant mortality rates, longer life expectancy and fewer deaths from cancer and heart disease. Markides, who still is researching the phenomenon, said he believes it's the traditional family structure and close-knit community ties that make Hispanics, especially the less Americanized immigrants, more resilient to many of the health-related problems associated with poverty. "We are finding in our research with older people, but also younger people, that Mexican-Americans who live in heavily Hispanic neighborhoods do better in life," Markides said. "They live longer, they are less depressed, they are healthier. So there is a positive aspect of the community that you don't find" in some black neighborhoods.