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Race, Intergenerational Social Mobility and Stressful Life Events.

Research paper by Shervin S Assari

Indexed on: 23 Sep '18Published on: 23 Sep '18Published in: Behavioral sciences (Basel, Switzerland)



Abstract

Socioeconomic status (SES) has smaller protective effects on the health of African Americans, and the differential association between social mobility and stress may explain the diminished returns of SES for African Americans. This study tested the race/ethnic differences in the association between upward and downward social mobility and stress in a nationally representative sample of African American and White American adults. This study included 3570 African Americans and 891 non-Hispanic from the National Survey of American Life (NSAL), 2003. Race/ethnicity, gender, age, upward and downward social mobility (independent variable, defined as difference between parent and respondent education), and stressful life events (SLE, dependent variable) were measured. Linear regression models were used for data analysis. In the pooled sample that included both races, upward and downward social mobility were both associated with SLE, the net of all covariates. Significant interactions were found between race/ethnicity and social mobility, suggesting a stronger association between social mobility and stress for than for African Americans. According to race-stratified models, upward and downward social mobility were associated with higher SLE for but not . Although upwardly and downwardly mobile experience more stress than the socially stable , African Americans do not experience a change in SLE related to their intergenerational social mobility.