The Lower Subjective Social Status of Neurotic Individuals: Multiple Pathways Through Occupational Prestige, Income, and Illness

  • Alfonsi G
  • Conway M
  • Pushkar D
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Abstract

Subjective social status seems to predict health outcomes, above and beyond the contribution of objective status. The present hypothesis was that neuroticism predicts subjective status and does so via the influence of neuroticism on objective status (i.e., education, occupation, and income), self-perceived illness, and greater negative affect. In turn, lower subjective status would be associated with more severe self-perceived illness. Older adults (N=341) shortly after retirement completed measures of neuroticism, attainment in education, occupation, and salary, and over 2 subsequent years, they completed measures of current subjective status, self-reported illness, and current negative affect. As hypothesized, greater neuroticism was associated with lower subjective status via lower objective status and more severe self-reported illness. However, current negative affect was not associated with subjective status, and subjective status did not predict future poorer subjective health.

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Authors

  • Giuseppe Alfonsi

  • Michael Conway

  • Dolores Pushkar

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