Impact of socioeconomic status on physiological health in adolescents: An experimental manipulation of psychosocial factors

Edith Chen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To examine the effects of a brief psychosocial manipulation on physiological responses to laboratory stress in lower and higher socioeconomic status (SES) adolescents. METHODS: A total of 115 adolescents participated in two acute laboratory stress tasks: one with psychosocial intervention and one with no intervention. In the intervention condition, half of the adolescents were given control over the stressor parameters; the other half received social informational resources (hints provided by another person) for dealing with the stressor. Physiological reactivity was monitored. RESULTS: Lower SES adolescents exhibited less physiological reactivity when provided with intervention compared with no intervention. Within the lower SES group, the resource condition reduced physiological reactivity more than the control condition did. Higher SES adolescents did not respond physiologically to intervention. CONCLUSIONS: This study provides a preliminary illustration of an experimental laboratory approach to studying SES-health relationships and suggests that providing informational support during a stressor may have beneficial implications for the physiological health of lower SES adolescents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)348-355
Number of pages8
JournalPsychosomatic medicine
Volume69
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2007

Keywords

  • Cardiovascular
  • Control
  • Resources
  • Socioeconomic status
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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