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Health Serv Res. 1976 Winter; 11(4): 416–429.
PMCID: PMC1071942

Income group differences in relationships among survey measures of physical and mental health.


The present research tested the hypothesis that the experience of health is hierarchically organized such that gratification of physical health needs must precede gratification of mental health needs. It was reasoned that because the nondisadvantaged possess greater resources for the gratification of health needs in general, symptoms of mental illness would be more salient for this group and thus better able to explain variance in both mental and physical illness. On the other hand, it was reasoned that symptoms of physical illness would be more salient and thus better able to explain variance in both mental and physical illness for the disadvantaged. Results of the study indicate income group differences in patterns of relationships among health variables, supporting the hypothesis and suggesting important differences in the validity of health measures across income groups. The results are related to previous findings in medical sociology, and suggestions for future research are made.

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Derogatis LR, Yevzeroff H, Wittelsberger B. Social class, psychological disorder, and the nature of the psychopathologic indicator. J Consult Clin Psychol. 1975 Apr;43(2):183–191. [PubMed]
  • Zola IK. Culture and symptoms--an analysis of patients' presenting complaints. Am Sociol Rev. 1966 Oct;31(5):615–630. [PubMed]
  • Clausen JA, Huffine CL. Sociocultural and social-psychological factors affecting social responses to mental disorder. J Health Soc Behav. 1975 Dec;16(4):405–420. [PubMed]
  • Newhouse JP. A design for a health insurance experiment. Inquiry. 1974 Mar;11(1):5–27. [PubMed]
  • Hulka BS, Cassel JC. The AAFP-UNC study of the organization, utilization, and assessment of primary medical care. Am J Public Health. 1973 Jun;63(6):494–501. [PubMed]
  • Mechanic D. Sociocultural and social-psychological factors affecting personal responses to psychological disorder. J Health Soc Behav. 1975 Dec;16(4):393–404. [PubMed]

Articles from Health Services Research are provided here courtesy of Health Research & Educational Trust