This study examined both unique and interactive effects of race and socioeconomic status (SES) on arthritis-related symptoms, coping, and well-being in African American and White women. Participants included 77 African American and 98 White women, aged 45 to 90, who completed structured, face-to-face interviews. A series of 2 x 2 MANCOVAs examined race (African American, White) and SES (high/low education or high/low occupational status) differences in arthritis-related symptoms, coping, and well-being. African Americans used more religious coping, wishful-thinking, seeking social support, and emotional expression than Whites. Individuals with low SES reported worse arthritis-related symptoms, poorer well-being, and greater use of coping strategies that tend to be maladaptive. Race x SES interactions revealed higher depressive symptoms in African Americans with low versus high education and coping differences in African Americans with low versus high occupational status; however differences in depressive symptoms and coping based on SES were not evident for Whites. Results demonstrate unique and interactive race and SES differences for arthritis-related symptoms, coping, and well-being showing the complexity of race and SES in the realm of physical and mental health.
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