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Subjective social status: its determinants and its association with measures of ill-health in the Whitehall II study

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  • Singh-Manoux, Archana
  • Adler, Nancy E.
  • Marmot, Michael G.
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    Abstract

    The purpose of this study was twofold--(1) investigate the role of subjective social status as a predictor of ill-health, with a further exploration of the extent to which this relationship could be accounted for by conventional measures of socioeconomic position; (2) examine the determinants of a relatively new measure of subjective social status used in this study. A 10 rung self-anchoring scale was used to measure subjective social status in the Whitehall II study, a prospective cohort study of London-based civil service employees. Results indicate that subjective status is a strong predictor of ill-health, and that education, occupation and income do not explain this relationship fully for all the health measures examined. The results provide further support for the multidimensional nature of both social inequality and health. Multiple regression shows subjective status to be determined by occupational position, education, household income, satisfaction with standard of living, and feeling of financial security regarding the future. The results suggest that subjective social status reflects the cognitive averaging of standard markers of socioeconomic situation and is free of psychological biases.

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    Bibliographic Info

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

    Volume (Year): 56 (2003)
    Issue (Month): 6 (March)
    Pages: 1321-1333

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:56:y:2003:i:6:p:1321-1333

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    Related research

    Keywords: Subjective status Inequalities in health Whitehall Occupation Income Education; UK;

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    Cited by:
    1. Premchand Dommaraju & Victor Agadjanian & Scott Yabiku, 2008. "The Pervasive and Persistent Influence of Caste on Child Mortality in India," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer, Springer, vol. 27(4), pages 477-495, August.
    2. repec:wii:bpaper:bowp:090 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Nobles, Jenna & Weintraub, Miranda Ritterman & Adler, Nancy E., 2013. "Subjective socioeconomic status and health: Relationships reconsidered," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 58-66.
    4. Alcántara, Carmela & Chen, Chih-Nan & Alegría, Margarita, 2014. "Do post-migration perceptions of social mobility matter for Latino immigrant health?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 94-106.
    5. Gage, Elizabeth A., 2013. "Social networks of experientially similar others: Formation, activation, and consequences of network ties on the health care experience," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 95(C), pages 43-51.
    6. Subramanyam, Malavika A. & Diez-Roux, Ana V. & Hickson, DeMarc A. & Sarpong, Daniel F. & Sims, Mario & Taylor, Herman A. & Williams, David R. & Wyatt, Sharon B., 2012. "Subjective social status and psychosocial and metabolic risk factors for cardiovascular disease among African Americans in the Jackson Heart Study," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 74(8), pages 1146-1154.
    7. Adena, Maja & Myck, Michal, 2013. "Poverty and transitions in health," MEA discussion paper series, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy 13273, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
    8. Andrew Burr & Jonathan Santo & Dolores Pushkar, 2011. "Affective Well-Being in Retirement: The Influence of Values, Money, and Health Across Three Years," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 17-40, March.

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