Understanding health inequality through the study of living arrangements
Promoting population health is an essential task for sustainable development. This study explores the association between socioeconomic status and perceived health in the United States, with special attention on the influence of living arrangements. It also improves the existing explanations of causal mechanisms underlying the impact of SES on health among Americans over 50. Using the first and seventh waves of Health and Retirement Study to run ordered logistic regression, this research addresses the importance of living arrangements and social capital on self-reported health. Income and education are both important predictors of self-reported health. In addition, living arrangements and household social capital also affects self-reported health after controlling individuals’ characteristics and SES indicators. These effects do not appear to mediate the socioeconomic effects on self-reported health. Future research should highlight better measures of living arrangements and social capital, as well as explore longitudinal analyses.