A parametric analysis of socioeconomic status: How SES relates to mental health.

Kennedy, P.M. / Published 2018 / Dissertation

Citation: Kennedy, P.M. (2018). A parametric analysis of socioeconomic status: How SES relates to mental health. (Unpublished doctoral paper). University of Denver, Denver, CO.

Abstract: The impacts of socioeconomic status (SES) on physical health and mental health are well-established in research literature. Chronic stress, environmental factors, and social factors such as educational attainment and low social connection contribute to decreased physical and psychological health. However, the explicit definition of what constitutes SES remains unclear. In this project, a parametric analysis of socioeconomic status examines the range of facts associated with being in different socioeconomic statuses. The parametric analysis aims to provide a clear and comprehensive conceptual formulation of socioeconomic status and helps to delineate how different socioeconomic statuses can shift a person’s place in the world. The brief examination of four clinical cases supports the analysis and provides a context for its utility. Socioeconomic status can be seen to fundamentally shape a person’s experience of and perspective on the world. This conceptual tool can assist clinicians in identifying when socioeconomic status is overly restrictive on a person’s world along with specifying which parameters of socioeconomic status are at play in their clients’ lives. It also allows for a more precise and comprehensive description of SES in different cultural contexts.

Keywords: Socioeconomic status, social class, poverty, parametric analysis, descriptive psychology, culturally competent treatment

This Doctoral Paper was supervised by Lynett Henderson Metzger (Chair), Sonja Holt, Ph.D., & Arthur Poczwardowski, Ph.D.