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Allostatic Load and Social Capital - Essay Example

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Seeman et al. (2014) conducted a study in which individual’s sense of control was pitted against their overall health. This perceived sense of control was applied to their social rank, constraints and life discrimination in general. They then drew a conclusion that perceived low control over one’s life yields higher allostatic load. Their interpretation of the results also showed that lower social status yields higher allostatic load. Their respondents were also varied based on income, age, gender and education and they found that that non-white low-income earning female respondents to have higher levels of allostatic load. Although they conducted the study by picking random individuals, the race factor is able to play into the fact that African Americans will have higher allostatic load than white Americans.
Muennig et al. (2010) also conducted a similar study to determine the relative health burden of selected social and behavioral risk factors. They found that individuals living below the federal poverty line to have reduced quality-adjusted life expectancy. In this group, they found evidence that majority were non-Hispanic African-Americans, which would indicate a higher allostatic load compared to those living above the federal poverty line majority of whom are white Americans.
Social capital refers to the overall collective benefit experienced by a group of individuals based on cooperation, coordination, and trust among the individuals. This is according to Flores, Carnero, & Bayer, who highlight its two component that is the involvement of an individual in social networks and their quality of social relationships. Their study showed that individuals suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder rely on social capital to provide them with support, a sense of security and belonging in order to deal with their ordeals. ...Show more
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Summary

This paper seeks to examine the levels of allostatic load among the population in America and to examine the evidence to draw a conclusion on the social impact on the allostatic load in America. Over time, the body itself manifests physiological effects through weathering…
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