A specific charge of the Office on Socioeconomic Status is to develop and facilitate relationships and activities to advance psychology as a major force in research, policy and advocacy related to SES. One way to fulfill this charge is to collect and distribute SES-related information through the development and maintenance of an online resource guide. OSES has compiled journal articles, relevant websites, upcoming events, fact sheets and other publications that address socioeconomic status, mental and physical health, children, education and related topics. We are open to additions, comments, and foresee its growth in the future.
To report inactive links, suggest a resource and/or for questions/concerns, please email Keyona King-Tsikata.
Report of the Task Force on Urban Psychology (PDF, 675.5KB)
This report provides an examination of critical urban issues for psychology, summarizes the state of scientific research related to urban issues, and offers an agenda for action in urban psychology.
Report of the APA Task Force on Socioeconomic Status (PDF, 517KB)
This report examines the psychological effects and scope of socioeconomic inequities in the United States and provides a series of recommendations on how APA can help better address these inequities.
- Disability & Socioeconomic Status
- Ethnic and Racial Minorities & Socioeconomic Status
Rand Corporation – Socioeconomic Status
RAND research on population and aging analyzes demographic and immigration trends and explores a range of concerns, from family planning to religion to discrimination. RAND also addresses vulnerable populations — such as the elderly and the poor — analyzing retirement and other aspects of financial decision-making, welfare and end-of-life issues.
Institute on Social Exclusion – Adler School of Professional Psychology
“Seeks to analyze the ways in which structural features of society condition human welfare, stimulate public dialogue on the underlying causes of disadvantage and on possible solutions, and engage in practical work that sheds light on and addresses social marginalization" [from website]
Pew Charitable Trust – Economic Mobility Project
Pew's Economic Mobility Project focuses public attention on economic mobility — the ability to move up or down the income ladder within a lifetime, or from one generation to the next. By forging a broad and nonpartisan agreement on the facts, figures and trends in mobility, the project is generating an active policy debate about how best to improve economic opportunity in the United States and to ensure that the American Dream is kept alive for generations that follow.
The official poverty rate in 2010 was 15.1 percent — up from 14.3 percent in 2009. This was the third consecutive annual increase in the poverty rate. The poverty rate in 2010 was the highest poverty rate since 1993 but was 7.3 percentage points lower than the poverty rate in 1959, the first year for which poverty estimates are available.
Since 2007, the poverty rate has increased by 2.6 percentage points, from 12.5 percent to 15.1 percent.
In 2010, 46.2 million people lived in poverty, up from 43.6 million in 2009, and that wasthe fourth consecutive annual increase in the number of people living in poverty.
The number of people living in poverty in 2010 was the largest in the 52 years for which poverty estimates have been published.
In 2010, the poverty threshold, or poverty line, was $22,314 for a family of four. Over 15 percent of the population fell below this threshold in 2010.
The percentage of people in deep poverty was 13.5 percent of all African-American and 10.9 percent of all Hispanics, compared to 5.8 percent of Asians and 4.3 percent of Whites.
While non-Hispanic Whites still constitute the largest single group of Americans living in poverty, ethnic minority groups are overrepresented (27.4 percent African American; 28.4 percent American Indian and Alaskan Native; 26.6 percent Hispanic, and 12.1 percent Asian and Pacific Islander compared with 9.9 percent non-Hispanic White).
Resolution on Poverty and Socioeconomic Status
This resolution has framed poverty as an outcome of inequalities that render certain demographic groups more vulnerable.
United States Census Bureau – Poverty
The Census Bureau reports poverty data from several major household surveys and programs. The Annual Social and Economic Supplement (ASEC) to the Current Population Survey (CPS) is the source of official national poverty estimates. The American Community Survey (ACS) provides single and multi-year estimates for smaller areas. The Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) provides longitudinal estimates. The Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates (SAIPE) program provides model-based poverty estimates for counties and school districts. See Description of Income and Poverty Data Sources to determine which survey or program meets your specific needs.
Oregon Center for Public Policy (OCPP) – How We Measure Poverty
Overview of the different U.S. federal policy poverty measures: poverty thresholds and poverty guidelines.
The National Academies – Measuring Poverty: A New Approach (1995)
The volume explores specific issues underlying the poverty measure, analyzes the likely effects of any changes on poverty rates, and discusses the impact on eligibility for public benefits. In supporting its recommendations the panel provides insightful recognition of the political and social dimensions of this key economic indicator. Measuring Poverty will be important to government officials, policy analysts, statisticians, economists, researchers, and others involved in virtually all poverty and social welfare issues.
Spotlight on Poverty
A non-partisan initiative that brings together diverse perspectives from the political, policy, advocacy, and foundation communities to find genuine solutions to the economic hardship confronting millions of Americans. Through the ongoing exchange of ideas, research, and data, Spotlight seems to inform the policy debate about reducing poverty and increasing opportunity in the United States.
Urban Institute – Poverty and the Safety Net
Urban Institute, a non-partisan economic and social policy research group, builds on decades of welfare reform research, evaluates public safety nets and proposes new initiatives to bolster work supports and help families gain a stable financial footing.
Institute for Research on Poverty, University of Wisconsin-Madison
IRP is a center for interdisciplinary research into the causes and consequences of poverty and social inequality in the United States. It is nonprofit and nonpartisan. It is based at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Center for Poverty Research, University of California-Davis
CPR focuses on facilitating research using a diverse set of approaches across academic disciplines to answer critical questions about poverty and its solutions. The Center engages faculty research affiliates in the departments of Economics, Sociology, Psychology, Political Science, Agricultural Economics, Human and Community Development, Chicano Studies, and the Schools of Education, Engineering, and Law.
Stanford Center on Poverty & Inequality, Stanford University
The Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality (CPI), one of three National Poverty Centers, is a nonpartisan research center dedicated to monitoring trends in poverty and inequality, explaining what's driving those trends, and developing science-based policy on poverty and inequality. CPI supports research by new and established scholars, trains the next generation of scholars and policy analysts, and disseminates the very best research on poverty and inequality.
U.S. Census Bureau (September 2011). Income, poverty, and health insurance coverage in the United States: 2010. (PDF, 2.31MB)
Children & Families
U.S. Census data reveals that from 2009 to 2010, the total number of children under the age of 18 years old living in poverty increased to 16.4 million from 15.5 million. Child poverty rose from 20.7 percent in 2009 to 22 percent in 2010. This is the highest it has ever been since 1993.
Racial and ethnic disparities in poverty rates persist among children. The poverty rate for African-American children was 38.2 percent, 32.3 percent for Hispanic children, 17 percent for non-Hispanic White children, and 13 percent for Asian children.
According to the National Center for Children in Poverty, 17.2 million children living in the United States have a foreign-born parent, and 4.2 million children of immigrant parents are poor. It is reported that child poverty in immigrant families in more closely related to low-wage work and barriers to valuable work support.
In 2010, approximately 24 percent of the 75 million children under the age of 18 years old live in a single-mother household. The poverty rate for children in female-householder families (no spouse present) was 42.2 percent in 2010; 7 in 10 children living with a single mother are poor or low-income, compared to less than a third (32 percent) of children living in other types of families.
In 2010, the uninsured rate for children in poverty (15.4 percent) was greater than the rate for all children in the United States (9.8 percent).
Institute for Children, Poverty and Homelessness (ICPH)
ICPH focuses its research on homeless families, as well as those living in extreme poverty, examining the demographics of this growing population, the challenges these families face in becoming self-sufficient, and the programs that are most effective in helping them transition out of poverty. Provides reports, briefs and media on several sub-topics: education, housing, health, domestic violence, shelters, employment, family and children.
National Center for Children in Poverty (NCCP)
Affiliated with Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, NCCP is the nation’s leading public policy center dedicated to promoting the economic security, health and well-being of America’s low-income families and children. NCCP uses research to inform policy and practice with the goal of ensuring positive outcomes for the next generation. We promote family-oriented solutions at the state and national levels.
Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics
The Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics (Forum) is a collection of 22 Federal government agencies involved in research and activities related to children and families. The Forum was founded in 1994 and formally established in April 1997 under Executive Order No. 13045. The mission of the Forum is to foster coordination and collaboration and to enhance and improve consistency in the collection and reporting of Federal data on children and families. The Forum also aims to improve the reporting and dissemination of information on the status of children and families. The Forum's annual report, America's Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being, provides the Nation with a summary of national indicators of child well-being and monitors changes in these indicators over time.
America’s Children – Key National Indicators of Well-Being, 2011, via US Census Bureau
U.S. Census Bureau (September 2011). Income, poverty, and health insurance coverage in the United States: 2010. (PDF, 2.30MB)
Report of the 2009 Presidential Task Force on Psychology's Contributions to End Homelessness
This report explores psychologists' role in ending homelessness and offers recommendations to advance training, research, practice and policy.
On a given night in January 2010, over 407,966 individuals were homeless (in shelters, transitional housing programs, or on the streets); 109,812 individuals were chronically homeless; 241,951 individuals in families were homeless (in shelters, transitional housing programs or on the streets).
Unaccompanied youth composed 1.1 percent of sheltered adult popul. on any given night in January 2010.
On any given evening in January 2010, according to the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD), 26.2 percent of all sheltered persons who were homeless “had a severe mental illness” and 34.7 percent experienced chronic substance use issues.
United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH)
USICH leads coordinated federal response to homelessness and fosters a national partnership at every level of government, including with the private sector, to end homelessness. Their website provides resource maps, policy descriptions, research, and data on homelessness.
National Resource Center on Homelessness and Mental Health
HRC is an interactive community of providers, consumers, policymakers, researchers, and public agencies at federal, state, and local levels. We share state-of-the art knowledge and promising practices to prevent and end homelessness through: (1) training and technical assistance, (2) publications and materials, (3) on-line learning opportunities, and (4) networking and collaboration.
National Health Care for the Homeless Council (NHCHC)
NHCHC is a home for those who work to improve the health of homeless people and who seek housing, health care, and adequate incomes for everyone. In the National HCH Council, agencies and individuals, clinicians and advocates, homeless people and housed people come together for mutual support and learning opportunities, and to advance the cause of human rights. Website provides research, publications, and technical assistance to all entities interested in the problems of health care and homelessness
“Current Statistics on the Prevalence and Characteristics of People Experiencing Homelessness in the United States”, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). July 2011.
APA Health Links
Mental health and psychology network offering support groups, information and advocacy.
Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) – Social Determinants of Health
A basic overview of the concept and definition of ‘social determinants of health’, and the political, social and economic forces that intersect with social determinants of health
Healthy People 2020 (HP2020) – Mental Health & Mental Disorders
Healthy People provide science-based, 10-year national objectives for improving the health of all Americans. For three decades, Healthy People has established benchmarks and monitored progress over time in order to: (1) encourage collaborations across communities and sectors, (2) empower individuals toward making informed health decisions and (3) measure the impact of prevention activities. See HP2020 Mental Health & Mental Disorders (MHMD) Objectives 1-12 (PDF, 16.54)
Health Indicators Warehouse.gov
Health indicators warehouse (HIW) is a user-friendly web-accessible database of pre-tabulated national, state and local health indicators, reflecting multiple dimensions of population health, health care and health determinants. The HIW also contains supporting descriptive data to facilitate understanding and appropriate use of the indicators, as well as links to evidence-based interventions. HIW is a collaboration of many Agencies and Offices within the Department of Health and Human Services. Includes 72 mental health and substance abuse health indicators.
MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Socioeconomic Status and Health
Multi-disciplinary network of scholars from various fields — including psychology — who have been working together for the last decade to enhance understanding of the mechanisms by which SES factors affect the health of individuals and their communities through development of innovative research methods, creation of new data sets, novel findings, and identification of new concepts, hypotheses and directions for research.
University College London – Institute of Health Equity
The Institute was launched in November 2011, to build on previous work to tackle inequalities in health led by Professor Sir Michael Marmot and his team, including the ‘Commission on Social Determinants of Health’ and ‘Fair Society Healthy Lives’ (The Marmot Review). The Institute is supported by the Department of Health, University College London and the British Medical Association. It will seek to increase health equity through action on the social determinants of health, specifically in four areas: (1) influencing global, national, and local policies, (2) advising on and learning from practice, (3) building the evidence base, and (4) capacity building.
World Health Organization (WHO) – Commission on Social Determinants of Health
Responding to increasing concern about persisting and widening inequities, WHO established the Commission on Social Determinants of Health in 2005 to provide advice on how to reduce them. The Commission's final report was launched in August 2008, and contained three overarching recommendations: (1) improve daily conditions, (2) tackle the inequitable distribution of power, money and resources, and (3) measure and understand the problem and access the impact of action.
- The Final Report of the Commission on Social Determinants of Health: “Closing the gap in a generation: Health equity through action on social determinants of health”, An Executive Summary (PDF, 4.25Mb)
- Key Concepts of ‘social determinants of health’
Mental Health, Culture, and Community Research Program – Clark University
“In US, well-documented mental health care disparities disproportionately affect individuals from low-income and cultural minority and backgrounds. Our lab’s mission is to help reduce these scientific and service utilization gaps through a combination of basic and applied research that focuses on urban, cultural minority children, adults and families” [from website]
National Institute of Mental Health
Aims to transform the understanding and treatment of mental illness through basic and clinical research through innovative thinking and ensuring a full array of scientific perspectives are used.
Reaching for a Healthier Life: Facts on Socioeconomic Status and Health (PDF, 928KB)
MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Socioeconomic Status and Health
The Biology of Disadvantage: Socioeconomic Status and Health (PDF, 66KB)
Annals of the New York Academy of Science, Volume 1186. Feb 2010.
Unnatural Causes: Is Inequality Making Us Sick? (Documentary)
The four-hour series crisscrosses the nation uncovering startling new findings that suggest there is much more to our health than bad habits, health care or unlucky genes. The social circumstances in which we are born, live, and work can actually get under our skin and disrupt our physiology as much as germs and viruses. Available for purchase by organizations, government agencies and schools for educational use only.
Report of the Task Force on Resources for the Inclusion of Social Class in Psychology Curricula (PDF, 11.7MB)
This Task Force was jointly sponsored by Divisions 9 and 35 of the American Psychological Association. The report is divided into the following sections (presented alphabetically): Classroom exercises; Course syllabi; Fiction; Legislation on SES related social policy; Popular media (film, TV, music, etc.); Scholarly books and articles; and websites.
Rand Corporation – Educational Equity
The question of educational equity involves the gap in achievement between minority and nonminority students. RAND has conducted research into the effects of grouping students by ability, preschool participation, charter programs and school funding on schools' abilities to provide equal education to students of varying socioeconomic, racial and ethnic backgrounds.
The Education Trust
The Education Trust promotes high academic achievement for students of all levels with the goal of closing opportunity and achievement gaps for low-income and minority students.
Stanford University’s Center for Educational Policy Analysis – Educational Equity
Stanford's Center for Education Policy Analysis, an independent research center, unites an interdisciplinary array of nationally prominent scholars from across the campus to provide the depth and scale of research needed to affect education policy in meaningful ways. The core researchers are drawn from the fields of economics, law, political science, psychology, public policy and sociology, and currently reside in the schools of Arts and Humanities, Business, Education and Law, as well as at the Hoover Institution. Their rigorous inquiry is based on the empirical realities of schools, well grounded in the needs of policy makers and education practitioners, and aimed directly at improving education for all students.
Diversity Web, Diversity & Democracy (Volume 11, Issue 3) – Research on Socioeconomic Status and Higher Education
“Socioeconomic class has dramatic effects on opportunity within and beyond college — yet it is a challenging topic of conversation for students and faculty alike. This issue of Diversity & Democracy provides some tools to guide difficult discussions about class in the hopes of creating more inclusive campuses and a more equitable world beyond”. Diversity & Democracy is published by the Association of American Colleges and Universities.
National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES), United States Department of Education
NCES is the primary federal entity for collecting and analyzing data related to education in the U.S. and other nations. It is located within the U.S. Department of Education and the Institute of Education Sciences.
Tables & Figures: Income and Education (629 Results)
NCES Annual Report: The Condition of Education (2011)
“A congressionally mandated annual report that summarizes important developments and trends in education using the latest available statistics. The report presents statistical indicators containing text, figures and tables describing important developments in the status and trends of education from early childhood learning through graduate-level education." [from website]
- Percentage of 5- to 17-year olds in families living in poverty, by state
- Percentage of 5- to 17-year olds in families living in poverty, by region: 1990, 2000, 2009
Collier, P. (2008). The bottom billion: Why the poorest countries are failing and what can be done about it. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
Diamond, J. (2005). Guns, germs, and steel: The fates of human societies. New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Company.
Espenshade, T.J., Radford, A.W. (2009). No longer separate, not yet equal: Race and class in elite college admission and campus life. (1st ed.). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Lott, B and Bullock, H.E. (2007). Psychology and economic injustice: Personal, professional, and political intersections. (1st ed.). Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association
Institute of Medicine. (2003). Unequal treatment: Confronting racial and ethnic disparities in health care. Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press.
Pickett, K., Wilkinson, R. (2009). The spirit level: Why greater equality makes societies stronger. New York, NY: Bloomsbury Press.
Sachs, J. (2005). The end of poverty: Economic possibilities for our time. New York, NY: The Penguin Press.
Smith, L. (2010). Psychology, poverty and the end of social exclusion. New York, NY: Teachers College Press.
June 21-24, 2012
“Changing Societies: Learning from and for Research, Social Action, and Policy”
Conference of the Society for Psychological Study of Social Issues, APA Division 9 (Charlotte, NC)
July 22-27, 2012
International AIDS Conference (Washington, D.C.)
October 31-November 2, 2012
For more info, contact: 2012 Summit on the Science of Eliminating Health Disparities (National Harbor, MD)
June 26-28, 2012
International Summit of Youth in Care (Washington, D.C.)
September 11-13, 2012
Global Youth Economic Opportunities Conference (Washington, D.C.)
October 29-31, 2012
Advancing Excellence in Gender, Sex and Health Research (Montreal, Canada)
November 17-19, 2012
The Science in Society Conference 2012 (University of California, Berkeley)
January 8-10, 2013
International Conference on Migration and Well Being (Tel Aviv, Israel)
April 27 – May 1, 2013
American Educational Research Association (San Francisco, CA)