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Lecture 4

Health Psychology Lecture 4.docx

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Wilfrid Laurier University
Scotney Evans

Week 2 Lecture 4 Health Psychology Social Inequalities, Social Justice and Health Social Darwinism • Concept that competition among all individuals, groups, nations or ideas drives social evolution in human societies • Social Darwinism (Krieger & Davey Smith, 2004) o Innate inferiority, not social injustice, was the cause of ill-health • Residents of the more disadvantaged neighbourhoods identified place as the major explanation for health inequalities whereas those in relatively advantaged areas preferred individualistic explanations • Social dominance orientation: the extent to which one desires that one’s ingroup dominate and be superior to outgroups o Includes the belief that the ingroup ought be to at the top if the social ladder, and that subordinate groups should remain where they are (Jost and Thompson, 2000) o Relies on legitimizing myths to justify the position of subordinate groups (Ex. The Protestant Work Ethic) Health Differences between Rich and Poor People • Death gradient: wealthy people live longer than poor people • British House of Commons Health Committee Health Inequalities Report: Why didn’t the gab narrow? o Poor nutrition o Tobacco smuggling o Cheap alcohol o Activities such as walking and cycling being discouraged (because of supermarkets and hospitals are located out of town) o The Healthy Schools initiative lacked proper targets and evaluations systems Canadian Poverty Statistics • In 2010, over 850,000 Canadians used food banks each month, the highest level of food bank usage ever • More than 300,000 Canadians experience homelessness annually • 57% of Canadians state “they would be in financial difficulty if their paycheque was delayed by a week (Canadian PayrollAssociation) • McMaster University Study found a 21 year difference in life expectancy between the poorest neighbourhood and the wealthiest neighbourhood in Hamilton, Ontario (conducted in 2010) Distribution of Wealth in Canada • Based on the median earnings of full-time, full-year earners between 1980 and 2005, the data shows: o Earnings increased by 16.4% for those in the top income group o Earnings stagnated for those in the middle income group o Earnings fell by 20.6% for those in the bottom group Week 2 Lecture 4 Socioeconomic Status and Health • Socioeconomic Status (SES) o Complex variable that takes into account the person’s occupation, education and income • Sargent Family (low SES) o Carole (mother) – works 2 jobs; part-time receptionist at a dental office; part-time cleaner in office building some nights o Gary (father) – worked at a factory and now is laid off; looking for work, but hasn’t been successful for past 3 months o Have 2 kids, Charlie (7) and Gabby (4) o Nearest grocery store is a bus ride away, they can’t afford fresh produce or meat very often, so eat a lot of processed food and fast food o Both Carole and Gary are smokers and sedentary (no time or money for exercise); both Carole and Gary are over
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