IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Socioeconomic status and physical health, how are they related? An empirical study based on twins reared apart and twins reared together

Listed author(s):
  • Lichtenstein, Paul
  • Harris, Jennifer R.
  • Pedersen, Nancy L.
  • McClearn, G.E.
Registered author(s):

    This investigation used the powerful combined twin and adoption design to assess the validity of three different hypotheses--social causation, childhood experiences, and health selection--on the origin of the association between socioeconomic status (SES) and health. The sample contains 99 pairs of monozygotic twins reared apart, 166 pairs of monozygotic twins reared together, 238 pairs of dizygotic twins reared apart, and 221 pairs of dizygotic twins reared together, who completed questionnaire items concerning their SES and health status. Genetic effects, environmental effects unique to the individual, as well as environmental effects shared by twins were involved in mediating the associations between SES and health. However, the relative importance of these effects varied for the different associations depending on the measures of health and SES respectively. The results indicate that social causation, childhood experiences, and health selection may all be important for the association between SES and health. It is argued that these hypotheses are not contradictory, rather the relationship between the complex dimensions SES and health may be explained by several different causes.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

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

    Volume (Year): 36 (1993)
    Issue (Month): 4 (February)
    Pages: 441-450

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:36:y:1993:i:4:p:441-450
    Contact details of provider: Web page:

    Order Information: Postal:

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:36:y:1993:i:4:p:441-450. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.