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J Prev Med Public Health > Volume 40(6); 2007 > Article
Journal of Preventive Medicine and Public Health 2007;40(6): 475-486. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.3961/jpmph.2007.40.6.475
A Review on Socioeconomic Position Indicators in Health Inequality Research.
Yong Jun Choi, Baek Geun Jeong, Sung Il Cho, Kyunghee Jung-Choi, Soong Nang Jang, Minah Kang, Young Ho Khang
1Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, College of Medicine, Health Services Research Center, Hallym University.
2Department of Preventive Medicine, Institute of Health Science, Gyeongsang National University.
3School of Public Health, Seoul National University.
4Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, KyungHee University Medical Center.
5Institute of Health and Environment, Seoul National University.
6Department of Public Administration, College of Social Sciences, Ewha Womans University.
7Department of Preventive Medicine, University of Ulsan College of Medicine. youngk@amc.seoul.kr
ABSTRACT
OBJECTIVES: Socioeconomic position (SEP) refers to the socioeconomic factors that influence which position an individual or group of people will hold within the structure of a society. In this study, we provide a comprehensive review of various indicators of SEP, including education level, occupation-based SEP, income and wealth, area SEP, lifecourse SEP, and SEP indicators for women, elderly and youth. METHODS AND RESULTS: This report provides a brief theoretical background and discusses the measurement, interpretation issues, advantages and limitations associated with the use of each SEP indicator. We also describe some problems that arise when selecting SEP indicators and highlight the indicators that appear to be appropriate for health inequality research. Some practical information for use in health inequality research in South Korea is also presented. CONCLUSIONS: Investigation into the associations between various SEP indicators and health outcomes can provide a more complete understanding of mechanisms between SEP and health. The relationship between specific SEP indicators and specific health outcomes can vary by country due to the differences in the historical, socioeconomic, and cultural contexts of the SEP indicators.
Key words: Socioeconomic factors; Education; Occupations; Income; Korea
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