Social Science [?] Medicine (SOC SCI MED)

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

2016 Impact Factor Available summer 2017
2014 / 2015 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: Objectives: Whereas the view that retirement would have negative effects on health is widespread, many existing studies may be biased because they do not sufficiently take into account the issue of reverse causation. Using a large longitudinal dataset for twelve Western European countries, this study uses an instrumental variables approach to assess effects of retirement on health. Methods: Longitudinal data for the years 2009-2012 for 75,722 men and 63,911 women from twelve Western European countries are derived from the European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions. Health outcomes used in this study are self-rated health, activity limitations and chronic conditions. Country- and sex-specific early- and full-pension ages are used as instruments. Models were stratified by sex as well as educational levels to assess potential effect heterogeneity. Results: Results obtained from conventional random-effects models suggest that retired men and women have higher chances of reporting bad self-rated health, activity limitations as well as chronic conditions. However, using an instrumental variables (IV) approach the results suggest that retirement can lead to health improvements in self-reported health as well as activity limitations among men and women. The health improvements associated with retirement among men and women exist across all educational levels. Discussion: Contrary to several previous studies, the results suggest that retirement may have health preserving effects. The positive effects of retirement and health exist for low as well as high educated men and women.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2016 · Social Science [?] Medicine
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    ABSTRACT: We use a subset of Hispanics from the New Immigrant Survey, a nationally representative data set on immigrants recently granted legal permanent residency (n = 2245), to examine whether the relationship between assimilation and health is modified by neighborhood disadvantage and, in doing so, carry out an empirical test of the segmented assimilation hypothesis. Results indicate that assimilation in the least disadvantaged neighborhoods can be protective against poor health. Specifically, more assimilated men and women in the lowest disadvantage neighborhoods have a lower likelihood of self-reported poorer health and being overweight, respectively; no link was found in higher disadvantage neighborhoods. Assimilation was not found to be associated with self-reported health for women or BMI for men, regardless of neighborhood disadvantage level. Overall, we find some evidence supporting the hypothesis that the effects of assimilation on health depend on the context in which immigrants experience it.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Social Science [?] Medicine
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    ABSTRACT: Mood disorders, such as depression and anxiety, are more prevalent among women than men. This disparity may be partially due to the effects of structural gender discrimination in the work force, which acts to perpetuate gender differences in opportunities and resources and may manifest as the gender wage gap. We sought to quantify and operationalize the wage gap in order to explain the gender disparity in depression and anxiety disorders, using data from a 2001-2002 US nationally representative survey of 22,581 working adults ages 30-65. Using established Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition methods to account for gender differences in individual-level productivity, our models reduced the wage gap in our sample by 13.5%, from 54% of men's pay to 67.5% of men's pay. We created a propensity-score matched sample of productivity indicators to test if the direction of the wage gap moderated the effects of gender on depression or anxiety. Where female income was less than the matched male counterpart, odds of both disorders were significantly higher among women versus men (major depressive disorder OR: 2.43, 95% CI: 1.95-3.04; generalized anxiety disorder OR: 4.11, 95% CI: 2.80-6.02). Where female income was greater than the matched male, the higher odds ratios for women for both disorders were significantly attenuated (Major Depressive Disorder OR: 1.20; 95% CI: 0.96-1.52) (Generalized Anxiety Disorder OR: 1.5; 95% CI: 1.04-2.29). The test for effect modification by sex and wage gap direction was statistically significant for both disorders. Structural forms of discrimination may explain mental health disparities at the population level. Beyond prohibiting overt gender discrimination, policies must be created to address embedded inequalities in procedures surrounding labor markets and compensation in the workplace.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Social Science [?] Medicine
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    ABSTRACT: While existing research suggests that health-related conditional cash transfer (CCT) programs have positive impacts on the utilization of CCT-targeted health services, little is known as to whether they also influence the utilization of non-targeted health services—defined as general health services for which program participants are not financially motivated. Based on a sample of 6,649 households in a CCT program that took place in May 2009 – June 2011 in Afghanistan, we evaluate the impact of the receipt of CCTs on the utilization of non-targeted health services both by women, who were direct beneficiaries of the program, and by members of their households. We estimate the outcomes of interest through four probit models, accounting for potential endogeneity of the CCT receipt and dealing with lack of credible exclusion restrictions in different ways. In comparison with the control group, the receipt of CCTs is found to be associated with an increase in the probability of utilizing non-targeted services among household members across regression models. The results are mixed, with regard to the utilization by women, suggesting that there exist non-economic barriers to health care, unique to women, that are not captured by the data. The results confirm the importance of accounting for direct as well as indirect effects in policy evaluation and suggest that future studies investigate more deeply the role of community health workers in removing non-economic barriers for Afghan women and the possibility of introducing an incentive structure to motivate them to contribute more actively to population health in Afghanistan.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Social Science [?] Medicine
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    ABSTRACT: There is much evidence that health, income and social relationships are important for our well-being, but little evidence on their relative importance. This study makes an integrative analysis of the relative influence of health related quality of life (HRQoL), household income and social relationships for subjective well-being (SWB), where SWB is measured by the first three of the five items on the satisfaction with life scale (SWLS). In a comprehensive 2012 survey from six countries, seven disease groups and representative healthy samples (N=7933) reported their health along several measures of HRQoL. A Shapley value decomposition method measures the relative importance of health, income and social relationships, while a quantile regression model tests how the effects of each of the three predictors vary across different points of SWB distributions. Results are compared with the standard regression. The respective marginal contribution of social relationships, health and income to SWB (as a share of goodness-of-fit) is 50.2, 19.3 and 7.3% when EQ-5D-5L is used as a measure of health. These findings are consistent across models based on five alternative measures of HRQoL. The influence of the key determinants varied significantly between low and high levels of the SWB distribution, with health and income having stronger influence among those with relatively lower SWB. Consistent with several studies, income has a significantly positive association with SWB, but with diminishing importance.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Social Science [?] Medicine
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    ABSTRACT: Drawing from a qualitative case study in rural British Columbia, Canada, this paper examines the discourse of kidney scarcity and its impact on renal care policies and practices. Our findings suggest that at different levels of care, there are different discourses and treatment foci. We have identified three distinct scarcity discourses at work. At the macro policy level, the scarcity of transplantable kidneys is the dominant discourse. At the meso health care institution level, we witnessed a discourse regarding the scarcity of health care and human resources. At the micro community level, there was a discourse of the scarcity of health and life-sustaining resources. For each form of scarcity, particular responses are encouraged. At the macro level, renal care and transplant organizations emphasize the benefits of kidney transplantation and procuring more donors. At the meso level, participants from the regional health care system increasingly encourage home hemodialysis and patient-led care. At the micro level, community health care professionals push for rural renal patients to attend dialysis and maintain their care plans. This work contributes to critical, interdisciplinary organ transfer discourse by contextualizing kidney scarcity. It reveals the tension between these discourses and the implications of pursuing kidney donations without addressing the conditions in which individuals experience kidney failure.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Social Science [?] Medicine
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    ABSTRACT: Markets throughout the world have been reducing barriers to international trade and investment in recent years. The resulting increases in levels of international trade and investment have subsequently generated research interest into the potential population health impact. We present a systematic review of quantitative studies investigating the relationship between international trade, foreign direct investment and non-nutritional health outcomes. Articles were systematically collected from the SCOPUS, PubMed, EconLit and Web of Science databases. Due to the heterogeneous nature of the evidence considered, the 16 included articles were subdivided into individual level data analyses, selected country analyses and international panel analyses. Articles were then quality assessed using a tool developed as part of the project. Nine of the studies were assessed to be high quality, six as medium quality, and one as low quality. The evidence from the quantitative literature suggests that overall, there appears to be a beneficial association between international trade and population health. There was also evidence of the importance of foreign direct investment, yet a lack of research considering the direction of causality. Taken together, quantitative research into the relationship between trade and non-nutritional health indicates trade to be beneficial, yet this body of research is still in its infancy. Future quantitative studies based on this foundation will provide a stronger basis on which to inform relevant national and international institutions about the health consequences of trade policies.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Social Science [?] Medicine
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    ABSTRACT: In this longitudinal study, we compare the effects of different types of relocation and level of affectedness on the incidence and relapse of mood and anxiety symptom treatments identified by publicly funded care or treatment one year before and one and two years after the ‘2011 Christchurch earthquake’ in New Zealand. Based on a subset of Christchurch residents from differently affected areas of the city identified by area-wide geotechnical land assessments (no to severe land damage) ‘stayers’, ‘within-city movers’, ‘out-of-city movers’ and ‘returners’ were identified to assess the interaction effect of different levels of affectedness and relocation on the incidence and relapse of mood and anxiety symptom treatments over time. Health and sample information were drawn from the New Zealand Ministry of Health's administrative databases allowing us to do a comparison of the pre-/post-disaster treatment status and follow-up on a large study sample.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Social Science [?] Medicine
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    ABSTRACT: The current study examines how the neoliberal imperative to self-manage has been taken up by patients, focusing specifically on Indian-Australians and Anglo-Australians living with depression in Australia. We use Nikolas Rose’s work on governmentality and neoliberalism to theorise our study and begin by explicating the links between self-management, neoliberalism and the Australian mental health system. Using qualitative methods, comprising 58 in-depth interviews, conducted between May 2012 and May 2013, we argue that participants practices of self-management included reduced use of healthcare services, self-medication and self-labour. Such practices occurred over time, informed by unsatisfactory interactions with the health system, participants confidence in their own agency, and capacity to craft therapeutic strategies. We argue that as patients absorbed and enacted neoliberal norms, a disconnect was created between the policy rhetoric of self-management, its operationalisation in the health system and patient understandings and practices of self-management. Such a disconnect, in turn, fosters conditions for risky health practices and poor health outcomes.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Social Science [?] Medicine