Wealth, health, and the moderating role of implicit social class bias

TitleWealth, health, and the moderating role of implicit social class bias
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsJohn-Henderson N, Jacobs EG, Mendoza-Denton R, Francis DD
JournalAnn Behav Med
Volume45
Issue2
Pagination173-9
Date Published2013 Apr
ISSN1532-4796
KeywordsAdolescent, Adult, Biological Markers, Body Mass Index, Depression, Female, Health Status, Humans, Interleukin-6, Male, Prejudice, Social Class, Socioeconomic Factors
Abstract

BACKGROUND: Subjective social status (captured by the MacArthur Scale of Subjective Social Status) is in many cases a stronger predictor of health outcomes than objective socioeconomic status (SES).

PURPOSE: The study aims to test whether implicit beliefs about social class moderate the relationship between subjective social status and inflammation.

METHODS: We measured implicit social class bias, subjective social status, SES, and baseline levels of interleukin-6 (IL-6), a marker of inflammation, in 209 healthy adults.

RESULTS: Implicit social class bias significantly moderated the relationship between subjective social status and levels of IL-6, with a stronger implicit association between the concepts "lower class" and "bad" predicting greater levels of IL-6.

CONCLUSIONS: Implicit social class bias moderates the relationship between subjective social status and health outcomes via regulation of levels of the inflammatory cytokine IL-6. High implicit social class bias, particularly when one perceives oneself as having low social standing, may increase vulnerability to inflammatory processes.

DOI10.1007/s12160-012-9443-9
Alternate JournalAnn Behav Med
PubMed ID23229159