Journal of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 36, Issue 4, pp 379–388 | Cite as

Socioeconomic status and stress in Mexican–American women: a multi-method perspective

  • Linda C. Gallo
  • Smriti Shivpuri
  • Patricia Gonzalez
  • Addie L. Fortmann
  • Karla Espinosa de los Monteros
  • Scott C. Roesch
  • Gregory A. Talavera
  • Karen A. Matthews
Article

Abstract

Stress is a hypothesized pathway in socioeconomic status (SES)-physical health associations, but the available empirical data are inconsistent. In part, this may reflect discrepancies in the approach to measuring stress across studies, and differences in the nature of SES-stress associations across demographic groups. We examined associations of SES (education, income) with general and domain-specific chronic stressors, stressful life events, perceived stress, and stressful daily experiences in 318 Mexican–American women (40–65 years old). Women with higher SES reported lower perceived stress and fewer low-control experiences in everyday life (ps < .05), but greater chronic stress (education only, p < .05). Domain-specific analyses showed negative associations of income with chronic housing and financial stress (ps < .05), but positive associations of SES with chronic work and caregiving stress (all ps < .05 except for income and caregiving stress, p < .10). Sensitivity analyses showed that most SES-stress associations were consistent across acculturation levels. Future research should adopt a multi-dimensional assessment approach to better understand links among SES, stress, and physical health, and should consider the sociodemographic context in conceptualizing the role of stress in SES-related health inequalities.

Keywords

Hispanic Latino Socioeconomic status Stress 

References

  1. Acquadro, C., Jambon, B., Ellis, D., & Marquis, P. (1996). Language and translation issues. In B. Spiker (Ed.), Quality of life and pharamcoeconomics in clinical trials (pp. 575–585). Philadelphia: Lippincott-Raven Publishers.Google Scholar
  2. Adler, N. E., & Snibbe, A. C. (2003). The role of psychosocial processes in explaining the gradient between socioeconomic status and health. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 12, 119–123.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Almeida, D. M., Neupert, S. D., Banks, S. R., & Serido, J. (2005). Do daily stress processes account for socioeconomic health disparities? The Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 60(2), 34–39.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Argeseanu Cunningham, S., Ruben, J. D., & Venkat Narayan, K. M. (2008). Health of foreign-born people in the United States: A review. Health & Place, 14, 623–635.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Arias, E., Eschbach, K., Schauman, W. S., Backlund, E. L., & Sorlie, P. D. (2010). The Hispanic mortality advantage and ethnic misclassification on US death certificates. American Journal of Public Health, 100, S171–S177.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Avis, N. E., Ory, M., Matthews, K. A., Schocken, M., Bromberger, J., & Colvin, A. (2003). Health-related quality of life in a multiethnic sample of middle-aged women: Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation (SWAN). Medical Care, 41, 1262–1276.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Baum, A., Garofalo, J. P., & Yali, A. M. (1999). Socioeconomic status and chronic stress. Does stress account for SES effects on health? In N. E. Adler, M. Marmot, J. Stewart, & B. McEwen (Eds.), Socioeconomic status and health in industrial nations: Social, psychological, and biological pathways. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences (Vol. 896, pp. 131–144). New York: New York Academy of Sciences.Google Scholar
  8. Bosma, H., Schrijvers, C., & Mackenbach, J. P. (1999). Socioeconomic inequalities in mortality and importance of perceived control: Cohort study. British Medical Journal, 319, 1469–1470.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bosma, H., Van Jaarsveld, C. H., Tuinstra, J., Sanderman, R., Ranchor, A. V., Van Eijk, J. T., et al. (2005). Low control beliefs, classical coronary risk factors, and socio-economic differences in heart disease in older persons. Social Science and Medicine, 60, 737–745.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Braveman, P. A., Cubbin, C., Egerter, S., Williams, D. R., & Pamuk, E. (2010). Socioeconomic disparities in health in the United States: What the patterns tell us. American Journal of Public Health, 100, S186–S196.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Bromberger, J. T., Harlow, S., Avis, N., Kravitz, H. M., & Cordal, A. (2004). Racial/ethnic differences in the prevalence of depressive symptoms among middle-aged women: The Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation (SWAN). American Journal of Public Health, 94, 1378–1385.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Bromberger, J. T., & Matthews, K. A. (1996). A “feminine” model of vulnerability to depressive symptoms: A longitudinal investigation of middle-aged women. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 70, 591–598.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Brunner, E. (1997). Stress and the biology of inequality. British Medical Journal, 314, 1472–1476.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Cho, Y., Frisbie, W. P., Hummer, R. A., & Rogers, R. G. (2004). Nativity, duration of residence, and the health of Hispanic adults in the United States. International Migration Review, 38, 184–211.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Cohen, S., Kamarck, T., & Mermelstein, R. (1983). A global measure of perceived stress. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 24, 385–396.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Cohen, S., Kessler, R. C., & Gordon, L. U. (1995). Measuring stress: A guide for health and social scientists. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  17. Cohen, S., & Williamson, G. M. (1988). Perceived stress in a probability sample of the United States. In S. Spacapan & S. Oskamp (Eds.), The social psychology of health (pp. 31–67). Newbury Park, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  18. Dimsdale, J. E. (2008). Psychological stress and cardiovascular disease. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 51, 1237–1246.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Dohrenwend, B. (1981). Life stress and illness: Formulation of the issues. New York: Prodist.Google Scholar
  20. Dohrenwend, B. S., Krasnoff, L., Askenasy, A. R., & Dohrenwend, B. P. (1978). Exemplification of a method for scaling life events: The PERI Life Events Scale. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 19, 205–229.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Escarce, J. J., Morales, L. S., & Rumbaut, R. G. (2006). The health status and health behaviors of Hispanics. In M. Tienda & F. Mitchell (Eds.), Hispanics and the future of America (pp. 362–409). Washington, DC: National Academies Press.Google Scholar
  22. Eschbach, K., Stimpson, J. P., Kuo, Y. F., & Goodwin, J. S. (2007). Mortality of foreign-born and US-born Hispanic adults at younger ages: A reexamination of recent patterns. American Journal of Public Health, 97, 1297–1304.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Gallo, L. C., Bogart, L. M., & Vranceanu, A. M. (2005). Socioeconomic status, resources, psychological experiences, and emotional responses: A test of the Reserve Capacity Model. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 88, 386–399.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Gallo, L. C., Espinosa De Los Monteros, K., Allison, M., Diez-Roux, A. V., Polak, J. F., & Morales, L. S. (2009a). Do socioeconomic gradients in subclinical atherosclerosis vary according to acculturation level? Analyses of Mexican-Americans in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis. Psychosomatic Medicine, 71, 756–762.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Gallo, L. C., Fortmann, A. L., Espinosa De Los Monteros, K., Mills, P. J., Barrett-Connor, E., Roesch, S. C., et al. (2012). Individual and neighborhood socioeconomic status and inflammation in Mexican-American women: What is the role of obesity? Psychosomatic Medicine. doi:10.1097/PSY.0b013e31824f5f6d
  26. Gallo, L.C., Fortmann, A.L., Roesch, S.C., Barrett-Connor, E., Elder, J.P., Espinosa De Los Monteros, et al. (2011a). Socioeconomic status, psychosocial resources and risk, and cardiometabolic risk in Mexican-American women. Health Psychology. doi:10.1037/a0025689
  27. Gallo, L. C., Jimenez, J. A., Shivpuri, S., Espinosa De Los Monteros, K., & Mills, P. J. (2011b). Domains of chronic stress, lifestyle factors, and allostatic load in middle-aged mexican-american women. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 41, 21–31.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Gallo, L. C., & Matthews, K. A. (2003). Understanding the association between socioeconomic status and physical health: Do negative emotions play a role? Psychological Bulletin, 129, 10–51.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Gallo, L. C., Matthews, K. A., Kuller, L. H., Sutton-Tyrrell, K., & Edmundowicz, D. (2001). Educational attainment and coronary and aortic calcification in postmenopausal women. Psychosomatic Medicine, 63, 925–935.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. Gallo, L. C., Penedo, F. J., Espinosa De Los Monteros, K., Monteros, K., & Arguelles, W. (2009b). Resiliency in the face of disadvantage: Do Hispanic cultural characteristics protect health outcomes? Journal of Personality, 77, 1707–1746.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Goldman, N., Kimbro, R. T., Turra, C. M., & Pebley, A. R. (2006). Socioeconomic gradients in health for white and Mexican-origin populations. American Journal of Public Health, 96, 2186–2193.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Grzywacz, J. G., Almeida, D. M., Neupert, S. D., & Ettner, S. L. (2004). Socioeconomic status and health: A micro-level analysis of exposure and vulnerability to daily stressors. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 45, 1–16.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Grzywacz, J. G., Arcury, T. A., Marin, A., Carrillo, L., Burke, B., Coates, M. L., et al. (2007). Work-family conflict: Experiences and health implications among immigrant Latinos. Journal of Applied Psychology, 92, 1119–1130.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Haffner, S., Gonzalez Villalpando, C., Hazuda, H. P., Valdez, R., Mykkanen, L., & Stern, M. (1994). Prevalence of hypertension in Mexico City and San Antonio, Texas. Circulation, 90, 1542–1549.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Hazuda, H. P., Stern, M. P., & Haffner, S. M. (1988). Acculturation and assimilation among Mexican Americans: Scales and population-based data. Social Science Quarterly, 69, 687–706.Google Scholar
  36. Henson, R. K. (2001). Understanding internal consistency reliability estimates: A conceptual primer on coefficient alpha. Measurement and Evaluation in Counseling and Development, 34, 177–189.Google Scholar
  37. Kamarck, T. W., Shiffman, S., & Wethington, E. (2011). Measuring psychosocial stress using ecological momentary assessment methods. In Baum. Contrada (Ed.), The handbook of stress science: Biology, psychology, and health (pp. 597–617). New York, NY: Springer Publishing Co.Google Scholar
  38. Kane, E. W. (2000). Racial and ethnic variations in gender-related attitudes. Annual Review of Sociology, 26, 419–439.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Karlamangla, A. S., Merkin, S. S., Crimmins, E. M., & Seeman, T. E. (2010). Socioeconomic and ethnic disparities in cardiovascular risk in the United States, 2001–2006. Annals of Epidemiology, 20, 617–628.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Karlamangla, A. S., Singer, B. H., McEwen, B. S., Rowe, J. W., & Seeman, T. E. (2002). Allostatic load as a predictor of functional decline. MacArthur studies of successful aging. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, 55, 696–710.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Kimbro, R. T., Bzostek, S., Goldman, N., & Rodriguez, G. (2008). Race, ethnicity, and the education gradient in health. Health Affairs, 27, 361–372.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Kosteniuk, J. G., & Dickinson, H. D. (2003). Tracing the social gradient in the health of Canadians: Primary and secondary determinants. Social Science and Medicine, 57, 263–276.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Landale, N. S., Oropesa, R. S., & Bradatan, C. (2006). Hispanic families in the United States: Family structure and process in an era of family change. In M. Tienda & F. Mitchell (Eds.), Hispanics and the future of America (pp. 138–178). Washington, DC: National Academies Press.Google Scholar
  44. Lantz, P. M., House, J. S., Mero, R. P., & Williams, D. R. (2005). Stress, life events, and socioeconomic disparities in health: Results from the Americans’ Changing Lives Study. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 46, 274–288.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Macleod, J., Davey, S. G., Metcalfe, C., & Hart, C. (2005). Is subjective social status a more important determinant of health than objective social status? Evidence from a prospective observational study of Scottish men. Social Science and Medicine, 61, 1916–1929.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Markides, K. S., & Eschbach, K. (2011). Hispanic paradox in adult mortality in the United States. In R. G. Rogers & E. M. Crimmins (Eds.), International handbook of adult mortality (Vol. 2, pp. 227–240). Springer: Netherlands.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Markus, H. R., & Schwartz, B. (2010). Does choice mean freedom and well-being? Journal of Consumer Research, 37, 344–355.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Matthews, K. A., & Gallo, L. C. (2011). Psychological perspectives on pathways linking socioeconomic status and physical health. Annual Review of Psychology, 62, 501–530.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Matthews, K. A., Gallo, L. C., & Taylor, S. E. (2010). Are psychosocial factors mediators of socioeconomic status and health connections? Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1186, 146–173.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Matthews, K. A., Räikkönen, K., Gallo, L. C., & Kuller, L. H. (2008). Association between socioeconomic status and metabolic syndrome in women: Testing the Reserve Capacity Model. Health Psychology, 27, 576–583.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Monroe, S. M. (2008). Modern approaches to conceptualizing and measuring human life stress. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, 4, 33–52.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Muthén, L. K., & Muthén, B. O. (2006). Mplus. Los Angeles: Muthén & Muthén.Google Scholar
  53. Myers, H. F. (2009). Ethnicity- and socio-economic status-related stresses in context: An integrative conceptual model. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 32, 9–19.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Nguyen, V. K., & Peschard, K. (2003). Anthropology, inequality, and disease: A review. Annual Review of Anthropology, 32, 447–474.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Parrado, E. A., & Flippen, C. A. (2005). Migration and gender among Mexican Women. American Sociological Review, 70, 606–632.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Passel, J. S., Cohn, D. V., & Lopez, M. H. (2011). Census 2010: 50 Million Latinos (Pew Hispanic Center report). Washington, DC: Pew Hispanic Center.Google Scholar
  57. Pouwer, F., Kupper, N., & Adriaanse, M. C. (2010). Does emotional stress cause type 2 diabetes mellitus? A review from the European Depression in Diabetes (EDID) Research Consortium. Discovery Medicine, 9(45), 112–118.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  58. Roehling, P. V., Jarvis, L. H., & Swope, H. E. (2005). Variations in negative work-family spillover among White, Black, and Hispanic American men and women. Journal of Family Issues, 26, 840–865.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Roger, V. L., Go, A. S., Lloyd-Jones, D. M., Adams, R. J., Berry, J. D., Brown, T. M., et al. (2011). Heart disease and stroke statistics–2011 update: A report from the American Heart Association. Circulation, 123, e18–e209.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Schmitt, N. (1996). Uses and abuses of coefficient alpha. Psychological Assessment, 8, 350–353.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Seeman, T. E., McEwen, B. S., Rowe, J. W., & Singer, B. H. (2001). Allostatic load as a marker of cumulative biological risk: MacArthur studies of successful aging. Proceedings of the National academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 98, 4770–4775.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Shivpuri, S., Gallo, L., Crouse, J., & Allison, M. (2011). The association between chronic stress type and C-reactive protein in the multi-ethnic study of atherosclerosis: does gender make a difference? Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 1–12. doi:10.1007/s10865-011-9345-5
  63. Stephens, N. M., Markus, H. R., & Townsend, S. S. (2007). Choice as an act of meaning: The case of social class. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 93, 814–830.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Stone, A. A., Schwartz, J. E., Neale, J. M., Shiffman, S., Marco, C. A., Hickcox, M., et al. (1998). A comparison of coping assessed by ecological momentary assessment and retrospective recall. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 74, 1670–1680.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Su, D., Richardson, C., & Wang, G. (2010). Assessing cultural assimilation of Mexican Americans: How rapidly do their gender-role attitudes converge to the U.S. mainstream? Social Science Quarterly, 91, 762–776.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Thoits, P. A. (2010). Stress and health. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 51, S41–S53.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Tillman, K. H., & Weiss, U. K. (2009). Nativity status and depressive symptoms among Hispanic young adults: The role of stress exposure. Social Science Quarterly, 90, 1228–1250.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Turner, R. (2010). Understanding health disparities: The promise of the stress process model. In W. R. Avison, C. S. Aneshensel, S. Schieman, & B. Wheaton (Eds.), Advances in the conceptualization and study of the stress process: Essays in honor of Leonard I. Pearlin (pp. 3–21). New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  69. Turner, R. J., & Avison, W. R. (2003). Status variations in stress exposure: Implications for the interpretation of research on race, socioeconomic status, and gender. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 44, 488–505.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Turner, R. J., & Lloyd, D. A. (1999). The stress process and the social distribution of depression. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 40, 374–404.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Turner, R. J., Lloyd, D. A., & Taylor, J. (2006). Stress burden, drug dependence and the nativity paradox among U.S. Hispanics. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 83, 79–89.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Turra, C. M., & Goldman, N. (2007). Socioeconomic differences in mortality among U.S. adults: Insights into the Hispanic Paradox. The Journals of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 62B, S184–S192.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Zsembik, B. A., & Fennell, D. (2005). Ethnic variation in health and the determinants of health among Latinos. Social Science and Medicine, 61, 53–63.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Linda C. Gallo
    • 1
    • 2
  • Smriti Shivpuri
    • 2
  • Patricia Gonzalez
    • 3
  • Addie L. Fortmann
    • 2
  • Karla Espinosa de los Monteros
    • 2
  • Scott C. Roesch
    • 1
  • Gregory A. Talavera
    • 5
  • Karen A. Matthews
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of PsychologySan Diego State UniversitySan DiegoUSA
  2. 2.SDSU/UCSD Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical PsychologySan DiegoUSA
  3. 3.Graduate School of Public HealthSan Diego State UniversitySan DiegoUSA
  4. 4.University of Pittsburgh School of MedicinePittsburghUSA
  5. 5.Graduate School of Public HealthSan Diego State UniversitySan DiegoUSA

Personalised recommendations