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Soc Personal Psychol Compass. 2010 Sep;4(9):704-727.

Socioeconomic Status and Coronary Heart Disease Risk: The Role of Social Cognitive Factors.

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Department of Psychology, University of Pittsburgh.


The aim of this study is to examine existing research on social cognitive factors that may, in part, mediate the relationship between socioeconomic status (SES) and coronary heart disease (CHD). We focus on how social status is 'carried' in the mental systems of individuals, and how these systems differentially affect CHD risk and associated behaviors. To this end, literatures documenting the association of various social cognitive factors (e.g., social comparison, perceived discrimination, and self-efficacy) with cardiovascular disease are reviewed as are literatures regarding the relationship of these factors to SES. Possible mechanisms through which social cognitions may affect health are addressed. In addition, directions for future research are discussed, and a model identifying the possible associations between social cognitive factors, SES, and coronary disease is provided.

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