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Measures of Socioeconomic Status: Alternatives and Recommendations

Charles W. Mueller and Toby L. Parcel
Child Development
Vol. 52, No. 1 (Mar., 1981), pp. 13-30
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Society for Research in Child Development
DOI: 10.2307/1129211
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1129211
Page Count: 18
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Measures of Socioeconomic Status: Alternatives and Recommendations
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Abstract

In this paper we argue that it is ill-advised to use impressionistic or outdated measures of SES in psychological research. After we critique such inappropriate measures, 2 occupation-based measures, the Duncan Socioeconomic Index and the Siegel Prestige Scale, are recommended as the best measures of the SES of individuals or household heads. Another strategy is described for measuring household or family SES where the household characteristics and composition vary.

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