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Psychosocial resources and social health inequalities in France: Exploratory findings from a general population survey

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  • Florence Jusot
  • Michel Grignon
  • Paul Dourgnon

Abstract

We study the psychosocial determinants of health, and their impact on social inequalities in health in France. We use a unique general population survey to assess the respective impact on selfassessed health status of subjective perceptions of social capital controlling for standard socio-demographic factors (occupation, income, education, age and gender). The survey is unique for two reasons: First, we use a variety of measures to describe self-perceived social capital (trust and civic engagement, social support, sense of control, and selfesteem). Second, we can link these measures of social capital to a wealth of descriptors of health status and behaviours. We find empirical support for the link between the subjective perception of social capital and health. Sense of control at work is the most important determinant of health status. Other important ones are civic engagement and social support. To a lesser extent, sense of being lower in the social hierarchy is associated with poorer health status. On the contrary, relative deprivation does not affect health in our survey. Since access to social capital is not equally distributed in the population, these findings suggest that psychosocial factors can explain a substantial part of social inequalities in health in France.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by McMaster University in its series Social and Economic Dimensions of an Aging Population Research Papers with number 189.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: May 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mcm:sedapp:189

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Keywords: social capital; social support; relative deprivation; sense of control; social health inequalities; France;

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  1. Angus Deaton, 2001. "Relative deprivation, inequality, and mortality," Working Papers 275, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Health and Wellbeing..
  2. Christine Eibner & William N. Evans, 2005. "Relative Deprivation, Poor Health Habits, and Mortality," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 40(3).
  3. Liukkonen, Virpi & Virtanen, Pekka & Kivimäki, Mika & Pentti, Jaana & Vahtera, Jussi, 2004. "Social capital in working life and the health of employees," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 59(12), pages 2447-2458, December.
  4. Douglas Miller & Christina Paxson, 2001. "Relative Income, Race, and Mortality," Working Papers 269, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Health and Wellbeing..
  5. Veenstra, Gerry, 2000. "Social capital, SES and health: an individual-level analysis," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 50(5), pages 619-629, March.
  6. Sundquist, Kristina & Lindström, Martin & Malmström, Marianne & Johansson, Sven-Erik & Sundquist, Jan, 2004. "Social participation and coronary heart disease: a follow-up study of 6900 women and men in Sweden," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 58(3), pages 615-622, February.
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Cited by:
  1. Zeynep Or & Chantal Cases & Melanie Lisac & Karsten Vrangbaek & Ulrika Winblad & Gwyn Bevan, 2009. "Are Health Problems Systemic? Politics of Access and Choice under Beveridge and Bismarck Systems," Working Papers DT27, IRDES institut for research and information in health economics, revised Sep 2009.
  2. Irina, Mozhaeva, 2009. "Multidimensional health modeling: Association between socioeconomic and psychosocial factors and health in Latvia," MPRA Paper 24626, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 01 Aug 2010.
  3. Irina, Mozhaeva, 2009. "Multidimensional health modeling: Association between socioeconomic and psychosocial factors and health in Latvia," MPRA Paper 34634, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 01 Aug 2010.

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