Carnegie Mellon University

Objective Socioeconomic Status

All 5 studies included some objective measure of participants’ socioeconomic status (SES).  Measures included traditional socioeconomic indices, such as educational attainment and household income, as well as less traditional indicators of social standing including home size and frequency of out-of-town vacationing.  As indicated by Table 1, studies differed in regard to which dimensions of SES were measured.  SES items generally were included as part of the studies’ demographic questionnaires, which were administered during one of the pre-quarantine baseline visits.   The one exception is for the assessment of employment status in the BCS, PCS1, and PCS2.  In these three studies, information on whether participants were employed was obtained as part of the Social Network Index (SNI) questionnaire.  Actual SES items administered during each of the 5 studies can be viewed by clicking on the relevant study name in the top row of Table 1.

 Table 1. SES Measures Administered in Each of the 5 Cold Studies

SES Measure
Traditional SES Measures
          Employment status
          Occupation / job title*
    Household income
Non-Traditional SES Measures
    Daily newspaper delivery
    Home ownership
    Home size
    Out-of-town vacations
    Vehicle ownership
 *Also assessed for spouses in BCS