Background: Existence of systematic health differences between people with different socio-economic status has been confirmed by many studies. At the same time, social relations have been found to be an important determinant of health. Some scholars consider social relations as mediator between socioeconomic status and health. However, studies on this subject are scattered and inconsistent. At the same time, it remains unclear how social relations are distributed according to socio-economic status. The study, the results of which are presented in this work, is an attempt to examine relationship between socio-economic status, social relations and health.
Purpose: The purposes of the study are: 1) to explore relationship between socio-economic status and social relations; 2) to confirm association between social relations and health; 3) to reveal whether social relations mediate association between socio-economic status and health.
Methods: The study is based on data of the European Social Survey, Round 5. Statistical analysis was performed using logistic regression models. Three indicators were selected to measure social relations: presence of a family partner, confidentiality availability (presence of someone with whom it is possible to discuss intimate and personal matters) and social participation (communication with people for enjoyment rather than for reasons of work or duty). Socioeconomic status was assessed by the level of education, employment and financial situation. Self-rated health on a one-five scale was used as health (illness) indicator.
Results: It was found out that socio-economically disadvantaged persons are at greater risk of social isolation, which, in turn, has negative effect on health. Social relations explain up to 21% of the socio-economic inequalities in self-rated health of the Russian people.
Conclusions: The received results show the need to promote social support and social integration especially among people with low socio-economic status, which can contribute to reduce health inequalities.
2015. Vol. 4, no 44
health inequality; self-rated health; social relations; socio-economic status.