SOC263H5 Lecture Notes - Dentons, Protective Factor

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17 Apr 2013
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Chapter Eleven: Cages and Health
Current perspectives on inequality in health
Socio-economic status played a BIG role in health experiences whereas lifestyle
choices such as smoking, exercising, immoderate eating accounted only
moderately [biomedical approach]
Psychosocial factors emphasized effects of stress on the physiology of the body
House’s conceptual framework said we should concentrate on factors such as
socio-economic status and race or ethnicity b/c they shape individual exposure to
and experience of virtually all known psychosocial, environmental and biomedical
risk which explain social disparities in health
He viewed race, ethnicity and gender as separate variables
Mortality, Morbidity and Mental Health
The privileged in society who posses resources in form of income, education and
social connections live longer and enjoy good physical and mental health
Those in low-income groups face more health constraints due to inequitable
social conditions in workplaces, neighbourhoods
Mortality differences in rural and urban regions where high mortality rates are in
rural regions due to occupational hazards
Presence of manufacturing and industry creates jobs but risk of toxins and
pollution from these sources create health risks
Residents in low-income areas within the same city face more health challenges
and risks
Low-income populations 16 times more likely to commit suicide than high-income
populations
There are linkages b/w high SES levels and better health status – extended SES
disadvantages was related to stronger declines in health and long-term SES
advantage was linked to slower health declines over time
Phelan says higher SES enables individuals to get greater flexible resources in
protecting their health for ex: moving to a better neighbourhood
Also, those with existing health conditions also face a difficulty in securing stable
jobs and income; although Canada has accommodated employees with
disabilities, stigma, misconceptions etc. have resulted in needs not being met for
many Canadians
The tendency to regard disability in older age groups as ‘part of natural aging’
can result in older workers being excluded from productive employment this
negatively affects their income level and socio-economic status
“Prevalence of mental illness also varies according to social advantage”- poor,
young, ethnic minorities, blacks have higher rates of mental illness than the well-
to-do, older persons, ethnic majorities and whites
Stress-process research focuses on effects of stress on mental health: Two main
streams
1. Extent to which different societal groups [varying by income,
race/ethnicity, age or gender] are exposed to chronic strains and
stressful events
2. Focus is on individual perceptions of stress and resources or buffers at
hand for maintaining mental health
The development of psychosocial resources such as mastery, self-esteem and
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