Report | Wages, Incomes, and Wealth

Effects of Diminished Economic Opportunities on Social Stress: Heart Attacks, Strokes, and Crime

Briefing Paper #34B

Download PDF

The unemployment rate which reached a peak of 7.8 percent
in this recession continues to hover at 7.5 percent more than two
years after the recession began. Poverty rates have risen to levels
higher than in any other industrialized nation, and the income gap
between rich and poor continues to grow. The worsening
economic situation has led not only to financial hardship but to
psychological trauma that extends beyond those who are
experiencing unemployment and poverty to those Americans who
fear the possibility of job loss and declining economic status.
Though often overlooked, earlier research has clearly linked
increases in stress as a result of declining socioeconomic status
and diminished economic opportunities to health-related problems
and criminal aggression.

See related work on Income and wages | Wages, Incomes, and Wealth

See more work by Mary Merva and Richard Fowles