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Two views of self-rated general health status

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  • Bailis, Daniel S.
  • Segall, Alexander
  • Chipperfield, Judith G.
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    Abstract

    Global self-evaluations of health have proven to be sensitive predictors of morbidity and mortality. Yet researchers have only a limited understanding of how these self-evaluations are reached. This research compares two interpretations of self-rated health, as reflecting either a spontaneous assessment of one's health status and related practices, or an aspect of one's enduring self-concept. Using longitudinal data from successive waves of the National Population Health Survey in Canada (Statistics Canada, 1994-95, 1996-97, NPHS public use microdata documentation. Ottawa, Ontario: Statistics Canada; n=7505), our analysis tests a model of change in self-rated health as predicted by respondents' baseline physical and mental health symptoms, social support, leisure physical activity, smoking, body mass index, and 2-yr changes in these characteristics. As in past research, self-rated health was sensitive to improvement or decline in these predictors. Much of the explained variance, however, was unique to respondents' self-rated health 2Â yr earlier. Moreover, the effect of several predictors on respondents' self-rated health varied according to whether respondents intended to improve specific health-related behaviours in the future. These findings suggest that self-rated health is not only a spontaneous assessment of one's health status and related practices; like a self-concept, self-rated health may be regulated by efforts to achieve one's relatively important health-related goals.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Social Science & Medicine.

    Volume (Year): 56 (2003)
    Issue (Month): 2 (January)
    Pages: 203-217

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:56:y:2003:i:2:p:203-217

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    Related research

    Keywords: Self-rated health Health determinants Self-concept Longitudinal Canada;

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    Cited by:
    1. Gunasekara, Fiona Imlach & Carter, Kristie & Blakely, Tony, 2012. "Comparing self-rated health and self-assessed change in health in a longitudinal survey: Which is more valid?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 74(7), pages 1117-1124.
    2. Lori J. Curtis, 2007. "Health Status of On and Off-reserve Aboriginal Peoples: Analysis of the Aboriginal Peoples Survey," Social and Economic Dimensions of an Aging Population Research Papers 191, McMaster University.
    3. Robert Belli & Sangeeta Agrawal & Ipek Bilgen, 2012. "Health status and disability comparisons between CATI calendar and conventional questionnaire instruments," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 46(3), pages 813-828, April.
    4. Layes, Audrey & Asada, Yukiko & Kephart, George, 2012. "Whiners and deniers – What does self-rated health measure?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 75(1), pages 1-9.
    5. Holly Heard & Bridget Gorman & Carolyn Kapinus, 2008. "Family Structure and Self-Rated Health in Adolescence and Young Adulthood," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer, vol. 27(6), pages 773-797, December.
    6. Bakshi, Sanjeev & Pathak, Prasanta, 2010. "What makes them feel healthier? the correlates of self-perceived health among older adults in India," MPRA Paper 40541, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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