Article

Understanding the association between socioeconomic status and physical health: Do negative emotions play a role?

Department of Psychology, San Diego State University, California 92120, USA.
Psychological Bulletin (Impact Factor: 14.39). 02/2003; 129(1):10-51. DOI: 10.1037//0033-2909.129.1.10
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT In this article, the authors evaluate the possible roles of negative emotions and cognitions in the association between socioeconomic status (SES) and physical health, focusing on the outcomes of cardiovascular diseases and all-cause mortality. After reviewing the limited direct evidence, the authors examine indirect evidence showing that (a) SES relates to the targeted health outcomes, (b) SES relates to negative emotions and cognitions, and (c) negative emotions and cognitions relate to the targeted health outcomes. The authors present a general framework for understanding the roles of cognitive-emotional factors, suggesting that low-SES environments are stressful and reduce individuals' reserve capacity to manage stress, thereby increasing vulnerability to negative emotions and cognitions. The article concludes with suggestions for future research to better evaluate the proposed model.

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