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A New Perspective on the Relationships Among Race, Social Class, and Psychological Distress
Ronald C. Kessler and Harold W. Neighbors
Journal of Health and Social Behavior
Vol. 27, No. 2 (Jun., 1986), pp. 107-115
Published by: American Sociological Association
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2136310
Page Count: 9
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Over the past decade, a body of research has developed which purports to show that the well-established relationship between race and psychological distress is due entirely to social class. In our paper we demonstrate that this view is incorrect: Most prior research has assumed that the effects of race and social class are additive; our analysis shows that they are actually interactive. The form of interaction is such that the true effect of race is suppressed and the true effect of social class is magnified in a model that fails to take the interaction into consideration. An analysis of eight different epidemiologic surveys documents this result and shows that race differences in psychological distress are particularly pronounced among people with low incomes. On the basis of this result we call for renewed interest in the effect of race on mental health.
Journal of Health and Social Behavior © 1986 American Sociological Association