Measuring subjective social status in children of diverse societies

Autoři: Dorsa Amir aff001;  Claudia Valeggia aff001;  Mahesh Srinivasan aff002;  Lawrence S. Sugiyama aff003;  Yarrow Dunham aff004
Působiště autorů: Yale University, Department of Anthropology, New Haven, CT, United States of America aff001;  University of California, Department of Psychology, Berkeley, CA, United States of America aff002;  University of Oregon, Department of Anthropology, Eugene, OR, United States of America aff003;  Yale University, Department of Psychology, New Haven, CT, United States of America aff004
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 14(12)
Kategorie: Research Article


Subjective Social Status (SSS) is a robust predictor of psychological and physiological outcomes, frequently measured as self-reported placement on the MacArthur Scale of Subjective Social Status. Despite its importance, however, there are still open questions regarding how early into ontogeny SSS can be measured, and how well SSS measures can be extended to non-Western and small-scale populations. Here, we investigate the internal consistency of responses to the MacArthur ladder across four cultures by comparing responses to more explicit social comparison questions. We conduct these comparisons among children and adolescents, ages 4 to 18, in India, the United States, and Argentina, in addition to those in two indigenous communities of the Ecuadorean Amazon marked by differing degrees of market integration (total N = 363). We find that responses are consistent in all populations, except for the more remote forager-horticulturalist Ecuadorian community. We also find that, consistent with findings among American adolescents, SSS declines with age. We then assess the test-retest reliability of the MacArthur Scale across two time-points: a subset of Indian participants (N = 43) within one week, and a larger, second sample of Indian participants after one year (N = 665). We find that responses are highly correlated within one week (ρ = 0.47), and moderately correlated after one year (ρ = 0.32). These results suggest that responses to the MacArthur ladder are internally consistent and reliable among children across a range of diverse populations, though care must be taken in utilizing these measures among children of non-industrial, small-scale societies.

Klíčová slova:

Adolescents – Argentina – Ecuador – Children – India – Social status – Socioeconomic aspects of health – Valleys


1. Operario D, Adler NE, Williams DR. Subjective social status: Reliability and predictive utility for global health. Psychology & Health. 2004;19: 237–246.

2. Adler NE, Boyce T, Chesney MA, Cohen S, Folkman S, Kahn RL, et al. Socioeconomic status and health: the challenge of the gradient. American psychologist. 1994;49: 15. doi: 10.1037//0003-066x.49.1.15 8122813

3. Chen E, Paterson LQ. Neighborhood, family, and subjective socioeconomic status: How do they relate to adolescent health? Health Psychology. 2006;25: 704. doi: 10.1037/0278-6133.25.6.704 17100499

4. Demakakos P, Nazroo J, Breeze E, Marmot M. Socioeconomic status and health: the role of subjective social status. Social science & medicine. 2008;67: 330–340.

5. Adler NE, Boyce WT, Chesney MA, Folkman S, Syme SL. Socioeconomic inequalities in health: no easy solution. Jama. 1993;269: 3140–3145. 8505817

6. Cohen S, Alper CM, Doyle WJ, Adler N, Treanor JJ, Turner RB. Objective and subjective socioeconomic status and susceptibility to the common cold. Health Psychology. 2008;27: 268. doi: 10.1037/0278-6133.27.2.268 18377146

7. Kraus MW, Piff PK, Keltner D. Social class, sense of control, and social explanation. Journal of personality and social psychology. 2009;97: 992. doi: 10.1037/a0016357 19968415

8. Davis JA. Status symbols and the measurement of status perception. Sociometry. 1956;19: 154–165.

9. Quon EC, McGrath JJ. Subjective socioeconomic status and adolescent health: a meta-analysis. Health Psychology. 2014;33: 433. doi: 10.1037/a0033716 24245837

10. Hoebel J, Müters S, Kuntz B, Lange C, Lampert T. Measuring subjective social status in health research with a German version of the MacArthur Scale. Bundesgesundheitsblatt, Gesundheitsforschung, Gesundheitsschutz. 2015;58: 749–757. doi: 10.1007/s00103-015-2166-x 25986532

11. Singh-Manoux A, Marmot MG, Adler NE. Does subjective social status predict health and change in health status better than objective status? Psychosomatic medicine. 2005;67: 855–861. doi: 10.1097/01.psy.0000188434.52941.a0 16314589

12. Baum A, Garofalo J, Yali A. Socioeconomic status and chronic stress: does stress account for SES effects on health? Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. 1999;896: 131–144. doi: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.1999.tb08111.x 10681894

13. Adler NE, Epel ES, Castellazzo G, Ickovics JR. Relationship of subjective and objective social status with psychological and physiological functioning: Preliminary data in healthy, White women. Health psychology. 2000;19: 586. doi: 10.1037//0278-6133.19.6.586 11129362

14. Goodman E, Adler NE, Kawachi I, Frazier AL, Huang B, Colditz GA. Adolescents’ Perceptions of Social Status: Development and Evaluation of a New Indicator. Pediatrics. 2001;108: e31–e31. doi: 10.1542/peds.108.2.e31 11483841

15. Wilkinson RG. Unhealthy societies: the afflictions of inequality. Routledge; 2002.

16. Hu P, Adler NE, Goldman N, Weinstein M, Seeman TE. Relationship between subjective social status and measures of health in older Taiwanese persons. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. 2005;53: 483–488. doi: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2005.53169.x 15743294

17. Sakurai K, Kawakami N, Yamaoka K, Ishikawa H, Hashimoto H. The impact of subjective and objective social status on psychological distress among men and women in Japan. Social Science & Medicine. 2010;70: 1832–1839.

18. Giatti L, do Valle Camelo L, de Castro Rodrigues JF, Barreto SM. Reliability of the MacArthur scale of subjective social status-Brazilian Longitudinal Study of Adult Health (ELSA-Brasil). BMC public health. 2012;12: 1096. doi: 10.1186/1471-2458-12-1096 23253581

19. Yip W, Adler N. Does social standing affect health and happiness in rural China. 2005.

20. Fernald LC. Socio-economic status and body mass index in low-income Mexican adults. Social science & medicine. 2007;64: 2030–2042.

21. Goodman E, Huang B, Schafer-Kalkhoff T, Adler NE. Perceived socioeconomic status: a new type of identity that influences adolescents’ self-rated health. Journal of Adolescent Health. 2007;41: 479–487. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2007.05.020 17950168

22. Piko BF, Fitzpatrick KM. Socioeconomic status, psychosocial health and health behaviours among Hungarian adolescents. The European Journal of Public Health. 2007;17: 353–360. doi: 10.1093/eurpub/ckl257 17130141

23. Ritterman ML, Fernald LC, Ozer EJ, Adler NE, Gutierrez JP, Syme SL. Objective and subjective social class gradients for substance use among Mexican adolescents. Social science & medicine. 2009;68: 1843–1851.

24. Friestad C, Klepp K-I. Socioeconomic status and health behaviour patterns through adolescence: Results from a prospective cohort study in Norway. The European Journal of Public Health. 2006;16: 41–47. doi: 10.1093/eurpub/cki051 16446300

25. Potter BK, Speechley KN, Koval JJ, Gutmanis IA, Campbell MK, Manuel D. Socioeconomic status and non-fatal injuries among Canadian adolescents: variations across SES and injury measures. BMC public health. 2005;5: 132. doi: 10.1186/1471-2458-5-132 16343342

26. Page RM, Suwanteerangkul J. Self‐rated health, psychosocial functioning, and health‐related behavior among Thai adolescents. Pediatrics International. 2009;51: 120–125. doi: 10.1111/j.1442-200X.2008.02660.x 19371291

27. Salonna F, van Dijk JP, Geckova AM, Sleskova M, Groothoff JW, Reijneveld SA. Social inequalities in changes in health-related behaviour among Slovak adolescents aged between 15 and 19: a longitudinal study. BMC Public Health. 2008;8: 57. doi: 10.1186/1471-2458-8-57 18269739

28. Nielsen M, Haun D, Kärtner J, Legare CH. The persistent sampling bias in developmental psychology: A call to action. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology. 2017;162: 31–38. doi: 10.1016/j.jecp.2017.04.017 28575664

29. Henrich J, Heine SJ, Norenzayan A. The weirdest people in the world? Behav Brain Sci. 2010;33: 61–135. doi: 10.1017/S0140525X0999152X 20550733

30. Lu F. Integration into the Market among Indigenous Peoples: A Cross‐Cultural Perspective from the Ecuadorian Amazon. Current Anthropology. 2007;48: 593–602. doi: 10.1086/519806

31. Henrich J, Ensminger J, McElreath R, Barr A, Barrett C, Bolyanatz A, et al. Markets, Religion, Community Size, and the Evolution of Fairness and Punishment. Science. 2010;327: 1480–1484. doi: 10.1126/science.1182238 20299588

32. Urlacher SS, Liebert MA, Josh Snodgrass J, Blackwell AD, Cepon-Robins TJ, Gildner TE, et al. Heterogeneous effects of market integration on sub-adult body size and nutritional status among the Shuar of Amazonian Ecuador. Annals of human biology. 2016;43: 316–329. doi: 10.1080/03014460.2016.1192219 27230632

33. Liebert MA, Snodgrass JJ, Madimenos FC, Cepon TJ, Blackwell AD, Sugiyama LS. Implications of market integration for cardiovascular and metabolic health among an indigenous Amazonian Ecuadorian population. Annals of human biology. 2013;40: 228–242. doi: 10.3109/03014460.2012.759621 23388068

34. Urlacher SS, Blackwell AD, Liebert MA, Madimenos FC, Cepon‐Robins TJ, Gildner TE, et al. Physical growth of the shuar: Height, weight, and BMI references for an indigenous amazonian population. American Journal of Human Biology. 2016;28: 16–30. doi: 10.1002/ajhb.22747 26126793

35. Cepon-Robins TJ, Liebert MA, Gildner TE, Urlacher SS, Colehour AM, Snodgrass JJ, et al. Soil-transmitted helminth prevalence and infection intensity among geographically and economically distinct Shuar communities in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Journal of Parasitology. 2014.

36. Madimenos FC, Snodgrass JJ, Liebert MA, Cepon TJ, Sugiyama LS. Reproductive effects on skeletal health in Shuar women of Amazonian Ecuador: A life history perspective. American Journal of Human Biology. 2012;24: 841–852. doi: 10.1002/ajhb.22329 23015457

37. Singh-Manoux A, Adler NE, Marmot MG. Subjective social status: its determinants and its association with measures of ill-health in the Whitehall II study. Social science & medicine. 2003;56: 1321–1333.

38. Amir D, Jordan MR, McAuliffe K, Valeggia CR, Sugiyama LS, Bribiescas RG, et al. The developmental origins of risk and time preferences across diverse societies. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General. 2019.

39. US Census Bureau. Profile of general population and housing characteristics: 2010 demographic profile data. American Factfinder. 2010.

40. Berube A, Holmes N. City and Metropolitan Inequality on the Rise, Driven by Declining Incomes. Brookings Institution, January. 2016;14.

41. Kolko J. Normal America is not a small town of white people. Fivethirtyeight com. 2016;28.

42. Dunham Y, Srinivasan M, Dotsch R, Barner D. Religion insulates ingroup evaluations: the development of intergroup attitudes in India. Developmental Science. 2014;17: 311–319. doi: 10.1111/desc.12105 24205988

43. Srinivasan M, Dunham Y, Hicks CM, Barner D. Do attitudes toward societal structure predict beliefs about free will and achievement? Evidence from the Indian caste system. Developmental science. 2016;19: 109–125. doi: 10.1111/desc.12294 25754516

44. Valeggia CR, Burke KM, Fernandez-Duque E. Nutritional status and socioeconomic change among Toba and Wichí populations of the Argentinean Chaco. Economics & Human Biology. 2010;8: 100–110.

45. Lagranja ES, Valeggia CR, Navarro A. Prácticas alimentarias y actividad física en adultos de una población Toba de la provincia de Formosa, Argentina. Diaeta. 2014;32: 35–41.

46. Lagranja ES, Phojanakong P, Navarro A, Valeggia CR. Indigenous populations in transition: an evaluation of metabolic syndrome and its associated factors among the Toba of northern Argentina. Annals of human biology. 2015;42: 84–90. doi: 10.3109/03014460.2014.932008 25004443

47. Bove RB, Valeggia CR, Ellison PT. Girl helpers and time allocation of nursing women among the Toba of Argentina. Human Nature. 2002;13: 457–472. doi: 10.1007/s12110-002-1003-8 26193090

48. de la Iglesia HO, Fernández-Duque E, Golombek DA, Lanza N, Duffy JF, Czeisler CA, et al. Access to electric light is associated with shorter sleep duration in a traditionally hunter-gatherer community. Journal of biological rhythms. 2015;30: 342–350. doi: 10.1177/0748730415590702 26092820

49. Barrett HC, Haley KJ. Economic game behavior among the Shuar. Experimenting with social norms: Fairness and punishment in cross-cultural perspective. 2014; 259–274.

Článek vyšel v časopise


2019 Číslo 12
Nejčtenější tento týden