Collections > Electronic Theses and Dissertations > SOCIAL CLASS DISPARITIES IN PAIN: UNDERSTANDING THE ROLE OF SUBJECTIVE SOCIOECONOMIC STATUS AND HYPER-VIGILANCE TO THREATS
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The relationship between wealth and health is strong: more wealth is associated with better health. Recently, researchers have turned to the importance of subjective socioeconomic status (sSES) in predicting health. Subjective SES is one’s perception of their social class rank as it compares to others. Subjective SES is often a better predictor of general health than are objective measures of socioeconomic status (income and education). The relationship between sSES and pain, however, has received little attention. In this dissertation, I investigated the causal and correlational relationship between sSES and pain symptoms. In addition, I investigated a potential mediator between sSES and pain symptoms: hyper-vigilance to threat. Across two studies, there was encouraging evidence that sSES was associated with current pain. In addition, study 1 provided some evidence that low sSES caused increased current pain symptoms. Furthermore, both studies provided some evidence that hyper-vigilance to threat, measured using state anxiety, mediated the relationship between sSES and pain.