The Effects Of Low Socioeconomic Status On Health And Health Behaviors

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Countless studies have concluded that low socioeconomic status (SES) predicts poor health among adults(Adler, Boyce, Chesney, Folkman, & Syme, n.d.) and adolescents.(Finkelstein, Kubzansky, & Goodman, 2006; Goodman, 1999; Starfield B, Riley AW, Witt WP, Robertson, 2002) Objective measures of SES such as level of education, income, and occupation are most commonly used to document these SES disparities.(Shavers VL, 2007) However, subjective social status (SSS) may also be a relevant predictor of health, independent of SES and in some cases a potentially better predictor. (Adler NE, Epel ES, Castellazzo G, & Ickovics, 2000; Aneshensel CS, Sucoff, 1996) Indeed, there is a growing body of research regarding individual’s perceptions of their placement in the social hierarchy and how these perceptions relate to health and health behaviors.(Adler NE, Epel ES, Castellazzo G, & Ickovics, 2000; Aneshensel CS, Sucoff, 1996) Assessing one’s perceived social status may more completely capture the cumulative influences of social hierarchy on health by taking into account earlier life circumstances, group experiences, family history, and perceived future trajectories in a way that SES is unable to.(R. G. Wilkinson, 1999; R. Wilkinson, 1999)
High SSS has been shown to be a protective factor against poor health in adult populations.(Adler NE, Epel ES, Castellazzo G, & Ickovics, 2000; Aneshensel CS, Sucoff, 1996) However, the mechanisms between SSS and health in younger populations are not

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