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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.

Suggested Citation

  • Florence Jusot & Michel Grignon & Paul Dourgnon, 2007. "Psychosocial resources and social health inequalities in France: Exploratory findings from a general population survey," Social and Economic Dimensions of an Aging Population Research Papers 189, McMaster University.
  • Handle: RePEc:mcm:sedapp:189
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Veenstra, Gerry & Luginaah, Isaac & Wakefield, Sarah & Birch, Stephen & Eyles, John & Elliott, Susan, 2005. "Who you know, where you live: social capital, neighbourhood and health," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 60(12), pages 2799-2818, June.
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    3. Christine Eibner & William N. Evans, 2005. "Relative Deprivation, Poor Health Habits, and Mortality," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 40(3).
    4. Veenstra, Gerry, 2000. "Social capital, SES and health: an individual-level analysis," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 50(5), pages 619-629, March.
    5. Angus Deaton, 2001. "Relative Deprivation, Inequality, and Mortality," NBER Working Papers 8099, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    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.
    7. Dunn, James R. & Veenstra, Gerry & Ross, Nancy, 2006. "Psychosocial and neo-material dimensions of SES and health revisited: Predictors of self-rated health in a Canadian national survey," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 62(6), pages 1465-1473, March.
    8. 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.
    9. Rose, Richard, 2000. "How much does social capital add to individual health?A survey study of Russians," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 51(9), pages 1421-1435, November.
    10. repec:aph:ajpbhl:2003:93:1:122-129_9 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Lindström, Martin, 2004. "Social capital, the miniaturisation of community and self-reported global and psychological health," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 59(3), pages 595-607, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Or, Zeynep & Cases, Chantal & Lisac, Melanie & Vrangbæk, Karsten & Winblad, Ulrika & Bevan, Gwyn, 2010. "Are health problems systemic? Politics of access and choice under Beveridge and Bismarck systems," Health Economics, Policy and Law, Cambridge University Press, vol. 5(03), pages 269-293, July.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.

    More about this item

    Keywords

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

    JEL classification:

    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General

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