ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2016, Vol. 24 ›› Issue (7): 1118-1129.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2016.01118

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Socioeconomic disparities in health and its underlying mechanisms

YOU Jin; YANG Lei; SHANG Shijie; YU Shijing   

  1. (Department of Psychology, Wuhan Univerisity, Wuhan 430072, China)
  • Received:2015-04-22 Online:2016-07-15 Published:2016-07-15
  • Contact: YOU Jin, E-mail:


Socioeconomic disparities in health refer to the systematic differences in health outcomes between the populations of different socioeconomic status. In the past three decades, studies from Western societies have well established the negative associations of socioeconomic status with a wide array of health outcomes, and have explored socioeconomic disparities in health in terms of structural conditions and personal characteristics. On the basis of empirical evidence, theorists have proposed sociocultural self-model, reserve capability model, and biopsychosocial model to comprehensively understand the mechanisms underlying socioeconomic disparities in health. Future work should further investigate the roles of sociocultural factors and individual difference variables in socioeconomic disparities in health with more diverse research designs. This work contributes to the understanding of health disparities in the globe, and has implications for the practice of promoting health equality in Chinese societies.

Key words: socioeconomic status, health inequality, psychosocial mechanisms, socioeconomic disparities in health