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The Pathway from Social Status to Physical Health: Taking a Closer Look at Stress as a Mediator

Citation

Cundiff, Jenny M.; Boylan, Jennifer Morozink; & Muscatell, Keely A. (2020). The Pathway from Social Status to Physical Health: Taking a Closer Look at Stress as a Mediator. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 29(2), 147-53.

Abstract

Stress is often invoked as a potential contributor to disparities in physical health as a function of social status. Although there is good reason to believe that stress exposure and stress responses may be an important pathway linking lower social status to poor health, direct evidence is lacking. We summarize the evidence for this pathway and limitations of that evidence, focusing particularly on how stress is conceptualized and measured. We argue that in addition to more direct tests of mediation, the measurement of the mediator-stress-could also be improved. We also propose that measuring theory-specific stress exposures may be more fruitful than assessing general stress exposures (e.g., life events, global perceived stress) by increasing theoretical clarity and predictive utility of stress in this context.

URL

https://doi.org/10.1177/0963721420901596

Reference Type

Journal Article

Journal Title

Current Directions in Psychological Science

Author(s)

Cundiff, Jenny M.
Boylan, Jennifer Morozink
Muscatell, Keely A.

Year Published

2020

Volume Number

29

Issue Number

2

Pages

147-53

Reference ID

12930