Document Detail

Affective and cardiovascular effects of experimentally-induced social status.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  18643006     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
OBJECTIVE: Observational research suggests subordinate social status is associated with negative mental and physical health outcomes. However, observational studies have limitations, including confounding of social status with other factors, limited ability to infer causality, and difficulty of obtaining detailed affective and physiologic data. This study used experimental methods to test the hypothesis that subordinate social status per se causes psychological distress and cardiovascular arousal. DESIGN: Forty-four women were randomly assigned to an induced subordinate or dominant status condition. Social status was manipulated using a procedure derived from status construction theory. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Affective responses were assessed via self-report. Cardiovascular responses were assessed by measures of systolic and diastolic blood pressures obtained with an automated blood pressure machine. RESULTS: Participants in the subordinate condition perceived themselves as lower in status; the reverse was true for dominant condition participants. Compared with induced dominant status, induced subordinate status produced increased negative affect and systolic blood pressure over the course of the study. CONCLUSION: Findings suggest social status can be experimentally manipulated and short-term induction of subordinate status can have adverse effects on affect and stress-related physiological systems. Results have implications for understanding how socioeconomic status "gets under the skin" to influence health.
Tamar Mendelson; Rebecca C Thurston; Laura D Kubzansky
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Randomized Controlled Trial; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Health psychology : official journal of the Division of Health Psychology, American Psychological Association     Volume:  27     ISSN:  0278-6133     ISO Abbreviation:  Health Psychol     Publication Date:  2008 Jul 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2008-07-22     Completed Date:  2008-10-28     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8211523     Medline TA:  Health Psychol     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  482-9     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2008 APA, all rights reserved.
Department of Society, Human Development, and Health, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Blood Pressure / physiology*
Body Mass Index
Health Status
Heart Rate / physiology*
Life Change Events
Social Class*

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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