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Status Consistency and Symptoms of Stress

Elton F. Jackson
American Sociological Review
Vol. 27, No. 4 (Aug., 1962), pp. 469-480
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2090028
Page Count: 12
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Status Consistency and Symptoms of Stress
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Abstract

The stressful impact of status inconsistency on the individual is examined with national survey data, using expressed psychophysiological symptoms as the indicator of psychological disturbance. Inconsistency due to racial-ethnic rank superior to occupational or educational rank is associated with high symptom levels; although the opposite patterns of inconsistency are not, they have been shown in previous research to be associated with political liberalism. These findings are interpreted to mean that all forms of status inconsistency are psychologically disturbing, but that response to this stress varies with the relative positions of the inconsistent person's achieved and ascribed status ranks and with his achieved status per se. Also, sex appears to influence response to occupation--education inconsistencies. These findings provide support for a multi-dimensional view of social stratification.

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