Psychosocial resources and social health inequalities in France: Exploratory findings from a general population survey


We study the psychosocial determinants of self-assessed health in order to explain social inequalities in health in France. We use a unique general population survey to assess the respective impact on self-assessed health status of subjective perceptions of social capital, social support, and sense of control, controlling for standard socio-demographic factors (SES, income, education, age and gender). The survey is unique in that it provides a variety of measures of self-perceived psychosocial resources (trust and civic engagement, social support, sense of control, and self-esteem. We find empirical support for the link between the subjective perception of psychosocial resources and health. Sense of control at work is the most important correlate of health status after income. Other important ones are civic engagement and social support. To a lesser extent, sense of being lower in the social hierarchy is associated with poorer health status. On the contrary, relative deprivation does not affect health in our survey. Since access to psychosocial resources is not equally distributed in the population, these findings suggest that psychosocial factors can partially explain of social inequalities in health in capital, social support, relative deprivation, sense of control, social health inequalities, France

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