Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Less Educated People Have Lower Stress, But More Health Effects

Date:
May 10, 2004
Source:
Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center
Summary:
While less educated people report fewer stressful days than those with more education, their stress is more severe and has a larger impact on their health, reports a researcher from Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center and his colleagues in the current issue of the Journal of Health and Social Behavior.

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – While less educated people report fewer stressful days than those with more education, their stress is more severe and has a larger impact on their health, reports a researcher from Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center and his colleagues in the current issue of the Journal of Health and Social Behavior.

Related Articles


Joseph G. Grzywacz, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine, said studies on stress typically overlook daily stressors or hassles, which are different from chronic or acute stressors, such as major illnesses or loss of a loved one.

"What makes this study unique is that we asked people what happened to them each day of the study, and it was done with a national sample," Grzywacz said.

The main finding is that daily stressors are not random – where you are in society determines the kinds of stressors that you have each day, Grzywacz said. And while those with more education have more days of stress, they are not as affected by it.

A lot of attention has been given to inequalities in health, he said. There is a well-documented disparity between the advantaged and disadvantaged based on studies of death rates and rates of disease. Grzywacz's study used education as a measure of socioecomonic status.

"Less advantaged people are less healthy on a daily basis and are more likely to have downward turns in their health," Grzywacz said. "The downward turns in health were connected with daily stressors, and the effect of daily stressors on their health is much more devastating for the less advantaged."

Different people can look at the same stressors in very different ways, he said. For one person, a rainy day might seem a little gloomy or have no impact at all. But for an outside laborer, it could mean no work, therefore, no money, which means very high stress. Another example is a wealthier individual who reports as stressful that his daughter would not practice the viola. A poorer person might not even be able to afford such a musical instrument, so it is not an issue.

Future research might measure the impact of all three types of stressors – acute, chronic and daily – Grzywacz said. "Is the whole greater than the sum?" Another question to pursue is why less advantaged people report less daily stress, when previous research indicates they experience more acute and chronic stress. "If something happens every day, maybe it's not seen as a stressor – maybe it is just life?"

For this study, a total of 1,031 adults were interviewed daily for eight days. Each day, they were asked, "Since we last talked, has anything stressful happened….tell me about that." The adults gave each stressor a rank from low to high severity. Their responses were rated by trained coders to indicate how severe the stressors were.

People with less than a high school degree reported experiencing stressors on 30 percent of the study days. Those with a high school degree and/or some college reported stress on 38 percent of days, and those with a college degree reported stress on 44 percent of days.

The research was supported by grants from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the National Institute on Aging, and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

In addition to Grzywacz, others participating in the research include David M. Almeida, associate professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at Pennsylvania State University, Susan Ettner, associate professor in the Division of General Internal Medicine and Health Services Research at the University of California at Los Angeles, and Shevaun D. Neupert, M.S., a post-doctoral fellow at Brandeis University in the Department of Psychology.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. "Less Educated People Have Lower Stress, But More Health Effects." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 May 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/05/040510013544.htm>.
Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. (2004, May 10). Less Educated People Have Lower Stress, But More Health Effects. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 26, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/05/040510013544.htm
Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. "Less Educated People Have Lower Stress, But More Health Effects." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/05/040510013544.htm (accessed January 26, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Monday, January 26, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How Technology Is Ruining Snow Days For Students

How Technology Is Ruining Snow Days For Students

Newsy (Jan. 25, 2015) — More schools are using online classes to keep from losing time to snow days, but it only works if students have Internet access at home. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Weird Things Couples Do When They Lose Their Phone

Weird Things Couples Do When They Lose Their Phone

BuzzFeed (Jan. 24, 2015) — Did you back it up? Do you even know how to do that? Video provided by BuzzFeed
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smart Wristband to Shock Away Bad Habits

Smart Wristband to Shock Away Bad Habits

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Jan. 23, 2015) — A Boston start-up is developing a wristband they say will help users break bad habits by jolting them with an electric shock. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Amazing Technology Allows Blind Mother to See Her Newborn Son

Amazing Technology Allows Blind Mother to See Her Newborn Son

RightThisMinute (Jan. 23, 2015) — Not only is Kathy seeing her newborn son for the first time, but this is actually the first time she has ever seen a baby. Kathy and her sister, Yvonne, have been legally blind since childhood, but thanks to an amazing new technology, eSight glasses, which gives those who are legally blind the ability to see, she got the chance to see the birth of her son. It&apos;s an incredible moment and an even better story. Video provided by RightThisMinute
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins