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Being ‘average’ good for your health

Australian men in high or low socioeconomic status groups are less satisfied with their quality of life than those in the middle group.

This is the finding from a study published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health.

Led by Dr Sharon Brennan from The University of Melbourne, the study randomly recruited men between the ages of 24 and 92 to investigate the relationship between socioeconomic (SES) status and the men’s perceptions of their quality of life.

“Men of lower SES and upper SES report being dissatisfied with their psychological and physical health, as well as their environment,” Dr Brennan said.

 “The results of men of lower SES are not surprising given the well-documented association between social disadvantage and poorer health.

“Men in the upper SES range may be more dissatisfied because they have higher self-imposed standards of achievement, which could make them more self-critical and likely to have greater expectations of physical health.

“Individuals residing in areas of lower SES are expected to be dissatisfied with their environment, given poorer-quality housing options and fewer health services.

“Men in the upper SES who report dissatisfaction with their environment may feel pressure to ‘keep up with the Jones’.

“These findings are consistent with cross-national surveys of happiness, where middle-income countries score highest.”


MEDIA ONLY: To receive a PDF of the paper or for more information about ANZJPH, contact: Peta Neilson ANZJPH Administration Ph: (03) 9329 3535 E-mail: anzjph@substitution.com.au


The Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health is published by the Public Health Association of Australia. Information on the Association and the Journal can be found at http://www.phaa.net.au