Socioeconomic status

Many studies have reported that low socio-economic status is associated with high prevalence of mood disorders.(117) For a long time in social psychiatry, 'social causation' and 'social selection' hypotheses have been accepted explanations of the role of the low socio-economic status in affective disorder. The causation hypothesis suggests that the stress associated with low social position, i.e. exposure to adversity and lack of resource to cope with difficulty, may contribute to the development of the affective disorder'(l18'il9) while the social selection hypothesis argues that genetically predisposed persons drift down to or fail to rise out of such positions.(l20,i21) Thus, the social selection hypothesis emphasizes the genetic interpretation of cause, while social causation hypothesis focuses on the aetiological role of the environment. Few longitudinal data sets are available to test the causal hypothesis. Nevertheless, there is evidence that disadvantaged socio-economic status, poverty, or education and occupation can be considered as risk factors for mood disorders. (í22123) Bruce and Hoff(l24) found that the effect of poverty is substantially reduced when controlling for degree of isolation from friends and family, suggesting that social isolation mediates some of the relationships between economic status and mood disorders.

In summary, a positive relationship has been found between socio-economic status and vulnerability for affective disorders, with higher rates of vulnerability found among individuals with lower educational and social achievement levels.

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