Measures of socioeconomic status (SES) purport to represent the relative distribution of prestige in a society. In many societies, SES is significantly associated with culture and ethnicity. For example, in the United States, European Americans have significantly higher per capita incomes and significantly lower poverty rates than all other major ethnic groups. Furthermore, these SES discrepancies play a causal role in many of the deficits in academic performance, mental health, and physical health that other U.S. ethnic groups show when compared with European Americans. The close association between ethnicity and SES, as well as the relationship between SES and important psychosocial variables, point to the importance for psychologists of understanding SES.

Failing to account for SES when working with cultural groups can limit the accuracy of ...

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