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Soc Sci Med ; 343: 116542, 2024 Feb.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-38290399


RATIONALE: Meta-reviews synthesising research on social class and mental health and wellbeing are currently limited and focused on specific facets of social class (e.g., social capital) or mental health and wellbeing (e.g., mental health disorders), and none sought to identify mechanisms in this relationship. OBJECTIVES: The present meta-review sought to (1) assess the overall relationship between social class and mental health and wellbeing, (2) determine the mechanisms that act in this relationship, and (3) evaluate the strength of evidence available. METHODS: The protocol was prospectively registered on PROSPERO (CRD42021214731). We systematically searched twelve databases in September 2022 and identified 149 eligible reviews from 38,257 records screened. Quality of evidence was assessed with the JBI levels of evidence and risk of bias with the ROBIS tool. RESULTS: A large but low-quality evidence base points to class-based inequalities in mental health and wellbeing, with the strongest available evidence linking lower social positions to an increased risk of depression. In terms of different facets of stratification, the best available evidence suggests that deprivation (e.g., poverty), socioeconomic status, income, and subjective social status are consequential for individuals' mental health and wellbeing. However, high-quality evidence for the roles of education, occupation, other economic resources (e.g., wealth), and social capital is currently limited. Most reviews employed individual-level measures (e.g., income), as opposed to interpersonal- (e.g., social capital) or community-level (e.g., neighbourhood deprivation) measures. Considering mechanisms, we found some evidence for mediation via subjective social status, sense of control, and experiences of stress and trauma. There was also some evidence that higher socioeconomic status can provide a buffer for neighbourhood deprivation, lower social capital, and lower subjective social status. CONCLUSIONS: Future research employing experimental or quasi-experimental methods, and systematic reviews with a low risk of bias, are necessary to advance this area of research.

Transtornos Mentais , Saúde Mental , Humanos , Classe Social , Pobreza , Características de Residência
PLoS One ; 18(11): e0292842, 2023.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-37910542


Universities are seeing growing numbers of students with poor mental health and wellbeing. Given that lower socioeconomic status (SES) students typically have poorer mental health and wellbeing than their peers, this may be, in part, caused by an increase in the number of students attending university from lower SES backgrounds. However, less is known about how socioeconomic inequalities in mental health and wellbeing persist within university communities. Research investigating psychosocial factors that contribute to socioeconomic disparities in mental health and wellbeing suggests perceived control, inclusion, and perceived worth to be important underlying mechanisms. However, another strand of research suggests perceived competence may also play a mediating role in this relationship. Consequently, the present research seeks to examine fulfilment of perceived control, inclusion, perceived worth, and competence needs as potential mediators in the relationship between subjective SES and mental health and wellbeing in university students. Below, we report the results of a cross-sectional survey conducted among university students (n = 811) in the UK during a period of COVID-19 restrictions. In line with prior research, we found evidence of socioeconomic inequalities in mental health and wellbeing among students. Further, we found subjective SES predicted perceptions of control, inclusion, and competence. In turn, perceived control and competence predicted both positive and negative mental health and wellbeing, whilst inclusion predicted positive mental health and wellbeing only. Unexpectedly, we found no evidence that perceived worth acts as a mediator in this relationship, independently of perceived control, inclusion, and competence. As academic institutions continue to pursue policies to 'widen participation', they also have a responsibility to understand how socioeconomic inequalities in mental health and wellbeing are perpetuated within the university community. Research in this area marks a first step to improve socioeconomic equality within Higher Education.

COVID-19 , Saúde Mental , Humanos , Fatores Socioeconômicos , Estudos Transversais , Pandemias , COVID-19/epidemiologia , Estudantes/psicologia , Universidades , Reino Unido/epidemiologia