Do psychological characteristics explain socioeconomic stratification of self-rated health?

Steven D. Barger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


This study evaluated whether negative emotions explain socioeconomic status (SES) stratification of self-rated health (SRH) and whether this putative relation is independent of established SRH determinants. Mood disorders, trait negative affect and health status indices were assessed in a representative cross-sectional survey of 3032 adults in the National Survey of Midlife Development in the United States (MIDUS). Adjustment for health behaviors and health status appreciably reduced SES influence on SRH, but adjustment for negative emotions did not. However, both psychological resources (e.g. social support, extraversion) and negative emotions independently predicted SRH. Detection of SRH determinants was sensitive to binary versus ordinal SRH definitions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21-35
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Health Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2006


  • Depression
  • Extraversion
  • Ordinal regression
  • Self-rated health
  • Socioeconomic status

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology


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