Stress, "a rich man who treating his stress" Social Stratification and Health Inequality- Stress and Depression

Social Stratification and Health Inequality- Stress and Depression

Stress! Stressful life events have been linked to heart disease, diabetes, cancers, stroke, fetal death during pregnancy, low birth weight in offspring, and major depression. Stress and stress management affect health. What did it look like in the past? What has changed? How does stress affect you? Where did stress come from? How to change this? This’s what our article about.

This article is a part of our Magazine social stratification and health inequality. Here we will teach you a part of the best diet to reduce the stress and how socioeconomic status during the life course affects your health. We will also argue about the theories that have been used in this discipline in order to determine the causes of stress and diseases. Moreover, how social stratification and health inequality lead to stress and diseases.



Where stress comes from and what it does to your body?

psychology, social science, anxiety, Psychology TopicsNot only the poor people who have stress but also rich people. Everybody is susceptible to stress and diseases. So being poor is not the only reason for stress and diseases. Stress is a response to a mental and physical reaction. Stress be a physical reaction due to hormones included in such as cortisol, adrenaline, and norepinephrine, all those hormones increase breathing and pulse and increase blood flow in the muscles. These symptoms interact directly with the brain function, from the material substances and from the stored information during the life course. Short-term stress can be positive sometimes, such as being stressed to catch the bus and it can have negative effects on health if it becomes long-lasting.


How do you know if you have stress?

  1. You become easily annoyed and impatient about small things

  2. You will feel stiff, tense and your body aches

  3. You will feel abandoned and tired, and therefore you will avoid the social contacts

  4. You will lose your desire for sex and may lose erection

  5. You get infections easier and more often

  6. You feel that time is not enough and therefore you increase the tempo further

  7. You opt out of rest, leisure activities, entertainment and contact with family and friends due to lack of time

  8. A mother more often experiences their child as irksome and that can give negative feelings towards the infant or child.

  9. You get stomach aches, tension headaches or palpitations

  10. You feel it harder to breathe properly

  11. The heartbeat becomes irregular

  12. Heartbeat may be hard to detect

Circadian rhythm, psychology, social-science, Psychology Topics

Stress nowadays

Today, young people are feeling worse than before. Today, teens suffer from psychosomatic disorders. Today, stress is twice as great. Today we have more stress than before due to globalization. Today, everything must be quickly and accurately. Today stress is rising due to the use of the Internet, especially due to social media, such as Instagram and Facebook. Teens start to compare their Capabilities or themselves with others which in some cases can lead to stress and depression. And even suicide. The most causative for stress and disease is the inequalities, especially health inequalities.


Stress in the past

To compare with 1985, where 57% of teenage girls suffer from psychosomatic disorders. In addition, this curve rises proportionally, and there is no specific reason why the stress is rising, but some studies show that it has and does to do mostly with unemployment. Some other studies show that socioeconomic status (SES) is the most causative for stress and diseases. Let’s discover what the science knows about the exposers and the outcomes related to health inequalities.

Why people go to the rail, Social Stratification and Health Inequality, Psychology Topics Stress and Depression
Why people go to the rail

Both the theory of social conditions as fundamental causes of disease and the theory of education learned effectiveness and health may be used to explain health inequalities. We will also first describe the two theories, and then we will compare and contrast them. Second, discuss the strengths and limitations of each of these theories.


The theory of social conditions as fundamental causes of disease

Link and Phelan (1995, pp. 80, 87) emphasis on individually-based risk factors, because there are two concepts, the first one is the social factors or social condition such as socioeconomic status (SES) and social support are fundamental causes of disease. The second is contextualizing of the risk factors by understanding what put people at risk of the risks and how people come to be exposed to the individually-based risk factor. The theory strives to contextualize risk factors because they think that the efforts to reduce the risk by changing behavior will be ineffective if there is no clear understanding of the process that leads to exposure.


Advantage with the theory “social conditions as fundamental causes of disease”

  • The socioeconomic status associated with the disease despite changes in intervening mechanisms, because they involve access to resources such as money, knowledge, power, prestige, social support, and social network. All that can be used to avoid risks or to minimize the consequences of the disease once it occurs. SES and social networks are used by medical sociologists and social epidemiologists as potential fundamental causes (Link & Phelan, P. 87).
  • Theory that can take in the account variables such as race, ethnicity and gender are advantaged because that are critical issues because they are so closely tied to resources like money, power, prestige, and/or social (Link & Phelan, P. 87).

  • Socioeconomic resources like money, knowledge, power, and social connectedness are health related because those who command the most resources are best in avoiding the risks and the consequences of the disease. That can strengthen the theory clamed (Link & Phelan, P. 87).

  • Because social and economic resources can be used in different situations and ways, dynamically the fundamental social causes have effects on disease even when the profile of risk factors changes radically (Link & Phelan, P. 88).

  • The fundamental social causes cannot be explained by the same risk factors at any given time (Link & Phelan, P. 88).


The disadvantage with the theory “social conditions as fundamental causes of disease” 

  • Focusing on the causal chain that takes only the individually-based risk factors would lead us to actions that could limit our ability to improve the nation’s health. If no new diseases emerged then no new risks will be developed which means no new knowledge about risks emerged. Even no new treatments will be developed (Link & Phelan, pp. 87-90).
  • What puts people at risk of the risks before it may not be the same today (Link & Phelan, P. 87).

  • The fundamental social causes cannot be fully understood just by tracing the mechanisms that appear to link them to disease, that’s why we need to focus on mechanisms because multiple mechanisms maybe contribute to a persistent association between the cause and the effect. (Link & Phelan, pp. 87, 88).

  • “As a result, investigations of the relationship of such social factors to specific manifestations of the disease are of limited utility. Since only one manifestation of the social cause is measured in such studies, the full impact of the social cause goes unrecorded” (Link & Phelan, P. 88).

Social stratification, Social Stratification and Health Inequality- Stress and Depression, Psychology Topics
Social stratification


The theory of “education, learned effectiveness and health”

This theory sees education as the fundamental element of the socioeconomic status linking it to health and it is more important than income, wealth and occupation.  Education is a bridge between one generation and the next, education makes the individuals better at identifying, avoiding risky situations or habits and develops the learned effectiveness. It is cumulative and educated people will be quicker to exit the risky situations or correct the risky ways, and they will be able to manage or minimize the health problems that occur under life course “Education develops the capacity to find out what needs to be done and how to do it and develops habits and skills of self-direction” (Mirowsky and Ross, 2005, pp. 205-206).


  • Education is acquired first over the life course and contributes to many socioeconomic indicators for example contribute to the occupational class position and through that to income. Moreover induced the income. (Lahelma, Martikainen, Laaksonen, & Aittomäki, 2003, P. 327).
  • Education is important for health when the access to material resources is limited (Östergren 2018, p. 122). Because education is directly protective (Deaton 2018, p. 21).


  • Educational systems are not internationally uniformed (Elo 2009, p. 556).
  • Education is hard to achieve without support and it is associated with income, which means cost money, education and income interact as predictors of mortality (Östergren 2018, p. 122).

Tabell.1 Comparation and contrast

Link and Phelan’s theoryMirowsky and Ross’s theory
Conducted by medical sociologists and social epidemiologists

Conducted by Sociologists.


Emphasis on individually-based risk factorsEmphasis on education
Conducted 1995Conducted 2005
Limited to individually-based risk factorsPreventative for most aspects
Focusing on the causes of diseaseFocusing on the SES linking to health



We have also, several measures of socioeconomic status which are associated with health and mortality.  Contact us to purchase the product, there we will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of different measures of socioeconomic status (education, occupation-based indicators, income, and wealth) in health inequality research. We will argue also that it is plausible that different measures affect the health and the mortality through different pathways. Also, how that may affect the health of women and men from a gender perspective. As well as we will describe how inequality are responsible for greater stress, anxiety and mental health disease. Moreover, we will focus on the topic how to reduce stress physically and mentally and the interaction between physical and mental health.

Social Stratification and Health Inequality, Psychology Topics
Social Stratification and Health Inequality


Clougherty. J, E., Souza. K., &  Cullen. M, R. (2010) Work and its role in shaping the social gradient in health. New York Academy of Sciences. pp. 102-124. doi: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.2009.05338.x.


Deaton, A, Policy Implications Of  The Gradient Of Health And Wealth. Health affairs. Volume (21) pp. 13-29.


Doyal. L (2001) Sex, gender, and health: the need for a new approach. School for Policy Studies, University of Bristol, Bristol BS8 1TZ. Volume (323).


Elo. E (2009) Social Class Differentials in Health and Mortality: Patterns and Explanations in Comparative Perspective. Department of Sociology, Population Studies Center, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104, Volume (35), pp. 553-572.


Hammarström. A., Johansson. K., Annandale. E., Ahlgren. C., Aléx. L., Christianson. M., Elwér. S., Eriksson. C., Fjellman,W. A., Gilenstam. K., Gustafsson. p, E., Harryson. L., Lehti. A., Stenberg. G., & Verdonk. P. (2013) Central gender theoretical concepts in health research: the state of the art Community Health. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. volume (68)185-190. doi:10.1 136/jech-201 3-202572.


Lahelma. E., Martikainen. P., Laaksonen.  M., & Aittomäki. A. (2003) Pathways between socioeconomic determinants of health. J Epidemiol Community Health, Volume (58), pp. 327–332.  doi: 10.1136/jech.2003.011148.


Link. B & Phelan. J. (1995) Social Conditions as Fundamental Causes of Disease. Journal of Health and Social Behavio, Volume (Extra Issu) pp. 80-94.


Mirowsky. J & Ross. C, R. (2005) Education, learned effectiveness and health. London Review of Education. Volume (3,) pp. 205-22.


Östergren. O (2018) Educational inequalities in mortality are larger at low levels of income: A register-based study on premature mortality among 2.3 million Swedes, 2006–2009. Department of Public Health Sciences, Stockholm University. pp 122-128.

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