Is Your Social Status Making You Sick? (Video)

Save ArticleSave Article

Failed to save article

Please try again

This article is more than 5 years old.

Can your social status make you sick?

And can what you think is your social status make you sick?

Researchers have long known that your social class, or where you are on the social ladder in terms of income, education and employment, is one of the most powerful predictors of health, more powerful, even, than genetics and smoking.

But research has shown there is another important social factor that affects health, though it doesn't get as much attention: your perception of your social status, regardless of what it actually is.


This 2016 study, for example, looked at the health of adolescents in relation to both their parents' social class and the teens' subjective social class. The researchers discovered that the actual social class of the parents did not predict certain health outcomes among their children as much as the teens' perceived social class compared to classmates.

For more on social status and its relation to health, watch the video above, from "Above the Noise," KQED's new YouTube series for teens.