Social Science [?] Medicine Journal Impact Factor & Information

Publisher: Elsevier

Journal description

Social Science & Medicine provides an international and interdisciplinary forum for the dissemination of research findings, reviews and theory in all areas of common interest to social scientists and health practitioners and policy makers. The journal publishes material relevant to any aspect of health from a wide range of social science disciplines (eg. anthropology, economics, education, ethics, geography, political science, psychology, social policy and sociology), and material relevant to any of the social sciences from any of the professions concerned with physical and mental health, and with health care practice, policy and organisation. It is particularly keen to publish findings or reviews which are of general interest to an international readership.The journal will publish the following types of contribution:1) Original research reports (preferably not more than 8,000 words in length).2) Critical or analytical reviews in any area of theory, policy or research relevant to health and illness (again preferably not more than 8,000 words in length).3) Short research reports or "think pieces" on topical theoretical or empirical issues (not more than 2,000 words).4) Letters relating to materials previously published in Social Science & Medicine, or to topical and internationally relevant issues concerning social science and health.5) Editorials or commentaries commissioned by the Editors.6) Part or whole Special Issues bringing together collections of papers on a particular theme, and usually edited by a guest editor.7) Reviews commissioned by the book review editor, or recently published books or groups of books which are likely to be of general interest to an international readership. Health Abstracts Online Health Abstracts Online is the new online service that has replaced Abstracts Online Social Science & Medicine. This new online service provides full details of the aims and scope, table of content, free abstracts, author lists and keywords of all articles published in Social Science & Medicine and Health & Place from 1995 onwards. Search each individual journal, or across the whole programme, for a particular topic and access the abstracts provided absolutely free of charge. Access is quick and easy for any user. Whether you are a new user or an existing user simply go to the new website at and you will automatically enter the new site where you can browse the information provided. When you wish to access the free journal abstracts you will be asked to login by providing your name and e-mail address. You will only need to login once, subsequent visits and access to the abstracts will be automatic. Health Abstracts Online will be regularly updated so visit the website and create a bookmark now - make Health Abstracts Online a regular stop for your research needs. The XVth International Conference on the Social Sciences & Medicine took place on 16-20 October 2000 in Veldhoven (near Eindhoven), The Netherlands. Proposals to host the XVIth International Conference are invited. Arranged as a series of workshops, each led by a discussion leader, the conference addresses key issues relating to the behavioural and social aspects of health and healthcare. For full details visit

Current impact factor: 2.89

Impact Factor Rankings

2015 Impact Factor Available summer 2016
2014 Impact Factor 2.89
2013 Impact Factor 2.558
2012 Impact Factor 2.733
2011 Impact Factor 2.699
2009 Impact Factor 2.71

Impact factor over time

Impact factor

Additional details

5-year impact 3.54
Cited half-life 9.20
Immediacy index 0.53
Eigenfactor 0.05
Article influence 1.35
Website Social Science & Medicine website
Other titles Social science & medicine (1982), Social science & medicine, Social science and medicine
ISSN 1873-5347
OCLC 7667666
Material type Periodical, Internet resource
Document type Journal / Magazine / Newspaper, Internet Resource

Publisher details


  • Pre-print
    • Author can archive a pre-print version
  • Post-print
    • Author can archive a post-print version
  • Conditions
    • Authors pre-print on any website, including arXiv and RePEC
    • Author's post-print on author's personal website immediately
    • Author's post-print on open access repository after an embargo period of between 12 months and 48 months
    • Permitted deposit due to Funding Body, Institutional and Governmental policy or mandate, may be required to comply with embargo periods of 12 months to 48 months
    • Author's post-print may be used to update arXiv and RepEC
    • Publisher's version/PDF cannot be used
    • Must link to publisher version with DOI
    • Author's post-print must be released with a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives License
    • Publisher last reviewed on 03/06/2015
  • Classification

Publications in this journal

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This article contributes to health research literature by problematizing the linear, sequential and intelligible understanding of time in the studies of illness. Drawing on the work of Martin Heidegger, it attempts to overcome the problem of considering the time of illness as either a framework controlling patients' experiences or a mind-dependent feature of their lives. The paper offers a conceptual analysis of the stories of ulcerative colitis patients from a recent clinical trial to present temporalities of illness as both objective and subjective, relational and dynamic. We attend to a combination of temporalities related to the ambiguous unfolding of illness and patients' relationships with such an unpredictable world of changing bodies, medical practices and temporal norms. Furthermore, our analysis reveals openness of times and considers ulcerative colitis patients as constantly evolving beings, with multiple possibilities brought about by illness. The paper highlights co-existence of times and considers patients' lives as incorporating a multiplicity of futures, presents and pasts. It concludes with conceptual observations about the consequences of developing complex approaches to illness in health research, which can better highlight the situatedness of patients and their multi-dimensional temporal foundations.
    Social Science [?] Medicine 11/2015; 147:105-112. DOI:10.1016/j.socscimed.2015.10.065
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    ABSTRACT: The 2014-2015 Ebola crisis in West Africa has highlighted the practical limits of upholding human rights and common ethical principles when applying emergency public-health measures. The role of medical teams in the implementation of quarantine and isolation has been equivocal, particularly when such measures are opposed by communities who are coerced by the temporary suspension of civil liberties. In their encounters with Ebola victims, outreach teams face moral dilemmas, where the boundaries are unclear between coercion, persuasion and appeals for self-sacrifice. For those teams, we propose a set of practical recommendations aimed at respecting the autonomy of epidemic victims and easing tensions within communities. We recognize that some of these recommendations are progressively achievable, depending on the specific stage or setting of an outbreak. Yet with the increasing availability of experimental treatments and research interventions, weighing patients' autonomy against the common good will become an even more pressing ethical obligation.
    Social Science [?] Medicine 11/2015; 147:126-133. DOI:10.1016/j.socscimed.2015.10.063
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    ABSTRACT: More than 150,000 irregular migrants reside in Israel, yet data regarding their utilization of and perceived barriers to health care services are limited. Drawing on semi-structured interviews conducted with 35 irregular migrant adults between January and September 2012, this article analyzes the role of migration as a social determinant of health for irregular migrants, and especially asylum seekers. We analyze two kinds of barriers faced by migrants when they attempt to access health care services: barriers resulting directly from their migration status, and barriers that are common among low-income communities but exacerbated by this status. Migration-related barriers included a lack of clear or consistent legislation; the threat of deportation; the inability to obtain work permits and resulting poverty and harsh living and working conditions; and discrimination. Barriers exacerbated by migrant status included prohibitive cost; poor and confusing organization of services; language barriers; perceived low quality of care; and social isolation. These findings support recent arguments that migrant status itself constitutes a social determinant of health that can intersect with other determinants to adversely affect health care access and health outcomes. Findings suggest that any meaningful effort to improve migrants' health will depend on the willingness of clinicians, public health officials, and policymakers to address the complex array of upstream political and socio-economic factors that affect migrants' health rather than focusing on narrower questions of access to health care.
    Social Science [?] Medicine 11/2015; 147:89-97. DOI:10.1016/j.socscimed.2015.10.046
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    ABSTRACT: Hymen reconstruction surgery (HR), while ethically controversial, is now available in many countries. Little clinical evidence and hardly any surgical standards support the intervention. Nearly as scarce is social science research exploring women's motivations for the intervention, and health care professionals' justifications for its provision. In order to better understand decision-making processes, we conducted semi-structured interviews in metropolitan Tunis, in 2009, with six women seeking the procedure, four friends who supported such women, four physicians who perform the operation, and one midwife. Health care professionals and patient companions expressed moral ambivalence about HR: although they could comprehend the individual situation of the women, they expressed concern that availability of the procedure might further entrench the patriarchal norms that compel the motivation for seeking HR in the first place. Some women seeking HR shared this concern, but felt it was not outweighed by their personal aims, which were to marry and become mothers, or to overcome past violent sexual experiences. The women felt HR to be uniquely helpful in achieving these aims; all made pragmatic decisions about their bodies in a social environment dominated by patriarchal norms. The link between HR and pervasive gender injustice, including the credible threat of serious social and physical harm to women perceived to have failed to uphold the norm of virginity before marriage, raises questions about health care professionals' responsibility while facing requests for HR. Meaningful regulatory guidance must acknowledge that these genuine harms are at stake; it must do so, however, without resorting to moral double standards. We recommend a reframing of HR as a temporary resource for some women making pragmatic choices in a context of structural gender injustice. We reconfirm the importance of factual sexual and reproductive education, most importantly to counter distorted beliefs that conflate an "intact hymen" with virginity.
    Social Science [?] Medicine 11/2015; 147:54-61. DOI:10.1016/j.socscimed.2015.10.051
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Bullying and prejudice-based harassment frequently occur in school settings and have significant consequences for the health and wellbeing of young people. Yet far fewer studies have examined the role of the school environment in peer harassment than individual factors. This multilevel study examined associations between a variety of school-level risk and protective factors and student-level reports of bullying and prejudice-based harassment during adolescence. Methods: Data come from 8th, 9th, and 11th graders who completed the 2013 Minnesota Student Survey (N = 122,180 students nested in 505 schools). School-level variables were created by aggregating student report data in five areas: academic orientation to school, internal assets, teacher-student relationship quality, feelings of safety at school, and receipt of disciplinary action. Results: Results indicated that youth attending schools with a higher proportion of students with strong internal assets had lower odds of nearly every type of bullying and prejudice-based harassment assessed when compared to youth attending schools with a lower proportion of students with strong internal assets. Additionally, the proportion of students feeling unsafe at school was a fairly consistent risk factor for most types of peer harassment. Conclusion: Findings support the idea that prevention programs aimed at improving school-wide internal assets and feelings of safety at school may be key prevention points.
    Social Science [?] Medicine 11/2015; 147:47-53. DOI:10.1016/j.socscimed.2015.10.036
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    ABSTRACT: With each successive generation in the United States, Mexican-origin families lose their initial dietary advantages. Focusing on children's diets, we ask whether greater socioeconomic status (SES) can help buffer Mexican-origin children in immigrant families from negative dietary acculturation or whether it exacerbates these dietary risks. Pooling data from the 1999 to 2009 waves of the continuous National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, we test whether the association between generational status and Mexican-origin children's nutrition varies by the family's SES. When predicting children's overall dietary quality using the Healthy Eating Index (2010) and predicting unhealthy dietary patterns, we find stronger evidence of segmented assimilation, whereby greater family average SES is associated with better diets across generations of Mexican-origin children. High-status Mexican-origin parents appear able to buffer their children against generational dietary declines documented in the acculturation literature.
    Social Science [?] Medicine 11/2015; 147:20-29. DOI:10.1016/j.socscimed.2015.10.028
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    ABSTRACT: In this paper, we explore Indigenous perspectives of culture, place, and health among participants in a landmark Canadian Housing First initiative: At Home/Chez Soi (AHCS) project. Implemented from 2009 to 2013 in Winnipeg and four other Canadian cities, AHCS was a multi-city randomized control trial that sought to test the effectiveness of Housing First as a model for addressing chronic homelessness among people living with mental illnesses. As Winnipeg's homeless population is over 70% Indigenous, significant efforts were made to accommodate the culturally specific health, spiritual, and lifestyle preferences of the project's Indigenous participants. While a daunting challenge from an intervention perspective, Winnipeg's experience also provides a unique opportunity to examine how Indigenous participants' experiences can inform improved housing and mental health policy in Canada. In our study, conducted independently from, but with endorsement of the AHCS project, we utilized a case study approach to explore the experiences of the project's Indigenous participants. Data were collected by means of in-depth qualitative interviews with Indigenous participants (N = 14) and key informant project staff and investigators (N = 6). Our exploratory work demonstrates that despite relative satisfaction with the AHCS intervention, Indigenous peoples' sense of place in the city remains largely disconnected from their housing experiences. We found that structural factors, particularly the shortage of affordable housing and systemic erasure of Indigeneity from the urban sociocultural and political landscape, have adversely impacted Indigenous peoples' sense of place and home.
    Social Science [?] Medicine 11/2015; 147:30-37. DOI:10.1016/j.socscimed.2015.10.057
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    ABSTRACT: This paper compares three groups of gestational mothers who relied on gametes from donors they did not know. The three groups are women who have conceived with donor sperm and their own eggs, women who have conceived with donor eggs and a partner's sperm, and women who have conceived with embryos composed of both donor eggs and donor sperm. The paper explores three issues. First, it considers whether intending parents select sperm and egg donors for different attributes both when they are chosen as the only donor and when they are chosen as donors contributing to an entire embryo. Second, it examines how women imagine the donor. Finally, it looks at how women conceptualize the donor as an individual who contributes to their child's characteristics. Two significant findings emerged in this analysis of survey data. First, the data show that gametes are gendered with different attributes both when those gametes are separate and even more so when seen as complementary parts of a whole. Second, the data show that women minimize the impact of the egg donor (both when a sole contribution and especially when part of the complementary whole) and thus ignore the influence or impact of the egg donor relative to how they make sense of the influence or impact of the sperm donor. The data for this study comes from an online survey developed by the authors.
    Social Science [?] Medicine 11/2015; 147:10-19. DOI:10.1016/j.socscimed.2015.10.049
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    ABSTRACT: Rationale: Adult approval and acceptance of alcohol use is highly correlated with underage drinking. Social norms influence young people's decisions to drink alcohol. While there is a dearth of studies to date, it is likely that social norms also influence adults' decisions to provide adolescents with alcohol. Objective: The current study explored the (in)consistencies between own and perceptions of others' views of underage drinking and the provision of alcohol to underage drinkers. Methods: Computer assisted telephone survey of 1160 adults in two communities in New South Wales, Australia. Results: Parents and community members were generally opposed to underage drinking and supply of alcohol to adolescents. Females, older respondents, and those who were parents were significantly more likely to disapprove of both underage drinking and supply of alcohol. However, across all of the behaviours, parents and non-parents alike perceived general community attitudes to be more liberal than their own. Conclusion: There is a need for community-based interventions that target parental misperceptions about the prevalence of youth drinking and the acceptability of drinking and supply of alcohol within their local community.
    Social Science [?] Medicine 11/2015; 147. DOI:10.1016/j.socscimed.2015.10.067
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    ABSTRACT: Infertility is a condition that affects nearly 30 percent of women aged 25-44 in the United States. Though past research has addressed the stigmatization of infertility, few have done so in the context of stigma management between fertile and infertile women. In order to assess evidence of felt and enacted stigma, we employed a thematic content analysis of felt and enacted stigma in an online infertility forum, Fertile Thoughts, to analyze 432 initial threads by women in various stages of the treatment-seeking process. We showed that infertile women are frequently stigmatized for their infertility or childlessness and coped through a variety of mechanisms including backstage joshing and social withdrawal. We also found that infertile women appeared to challenge and stigmatize pregnant women for perceived immoral behaviors or lower social status. We argue that while the effects of stigma power are frequently perceived and felt in relationships between infertile women and their fertile peers, the direction of the enacted stigma is related to social standing and feelings of fairness and reinforces perceived expressions of deserved motherhood in the United States.
    Social Science [?] Medicine 11/2015; 147. DOI:10.1016/j.socscimed.2015.11.002
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    ABSTRACT: In this article, I discuss the significance of understanding within the context of the campaign for affordable and accessible HIV/AIDS treatments in South Africa, the transformational effects of the interplay between political rationality and affect for HIV-positive subjectivities. The article focuses on the policy tactics, in 2001, of the lobbying for a policy to prevent mother-to-child-transmission of HIV. A close reading of the lobby groups' rationalization of healthcare as a fundamental human right reveals a strategic attempt to recast a sense of helplessness into self-responsibilization, which concurrently involved nourishing hope in the preferred future for women with HIV to be afforded the right to individual choice associated with self-determination. Therefore, the struggle for a policy to prevent mother-to-child-transmission of HIV - an exemplary initiative to reconstitute HIV-positive subjectivity - maneuvered within both rationalizing and emotive spaces. Ongoing engagement of the broader campaign's contribution to redefining being HIV-positive thus also necessitates accounting for the effects of the convergence of political rationality and emotion in its tactically emancipatory project.
    Social Science [?] Medicine 11/2015; 147. DOI:10.1016/j.socscimed.2015.11.003
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Living in neighborhoods with a high density of alcohol outlets and socioeconomic disadvantage may increase residents' alcohol use. Few researchers have studied these exposures in relation to multiple types of alcohol use, including beverage-specific consumption, and how individual demographic factors influence these relationships. Objective: To examine the relationships of alcohol outlet density and neighborhood disadvantage with alcohol consumption, and to investigate differences in these associations by race/ethnicity and income. Methods: Using cross-sectional data (N = 5,873) from the Multi-ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis in 2002, we examine associations of residential alcohol outlet density and neighborhood socioeconomic disadvantage with current, total weekly and heaviest daily alcohol use in gender-specific regression models, as well as moderation by race/ethnicity and income. Results: Drinking men living near high densities of alcohol outlets had 23%-29% more weekly alcohol use than men in low density areas. Among women who drank, those living near a moderate density of alcohol outlets consumed approximately 40% less liquor each week than those in low density areas, but higher outlet densities were associated with more wine consumption (35%-49%). Living in highly or moderately disadvantaged neighborhoods was associated with a lower probability of being a current drinker, but with higher rates of weekly beer consumption. Income moderated the relationship between neighborhood context and weekly alcohol use. Conclusions/Importance: Neighborhood disadvantage and alcohol outlet density may influence alcohol use with effects varying by gender and income. Results from this research may help target interventions and policy to groups most at risk for greater weekly consumption.
    Social Science [?] Medicine 11/2015; 145:17-25. DOI:10.1016/j.socscimed.2015.09.030
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    ABSTRACT: Recent research has found a migrant mortality advantage among immigrants relative to the UK-born population living in England and Wales. However, while all-cause mortality is useful to show differences in mortality between immigrants and the host population, it can mask variation in mortality patterns from specific causes of death. This study analyses differences in the causes of death among immigrants living in England and Wales. We extend previous research by applying competing-risks survival analysis to study a large-scale longitudinal dataset from 1971 to 2012 to directly compare causes of death. We confirm low all-cause mortality among nearly all immigrants, except immigrants from Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland (who have high mortality). In most cases, low all-cause mortality among immigrants is driven by lower mortality from chronic diseases (in nearly all cases by lower cancer mortality and in some cases by lower mortality from cardiovascular diseases (CVD)). This low all-cause mortality often coexists with low respiratory disease mortality and among non-western immigrants, coexists with high mortality from infectious diseases; however, these two causes of death contribute little to mortality among immigrants. For men, CVD is the leading cause of death (particularly among South Asians). For women, cancer is the leading cause of death (except among South Asians, for whom CVD is also the leading cause). Differences in CVD mortality over time remain constant between immigrants relative to UK-born, but immigrant cancer patterns shows signs of some convergence to the cancer mortality among the UK-born (though cancer mortality is still low among immigrants by age 80). The study provides the most up-to-date, reliable UK-based analysis of immigrant mortality.
    Social Science [?] Medicine 11/2015; 147. DOI:10.1016/j.socscimed.2015.10.060