Socioeconomic Status, Resources, Psychological Experiences, and Emotional Responses

A Test of the Reserve Capacity Model

Published in: Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, v. 88, no. 2, Feb. 2005, p. 386-399

Posted on RAND.org on December 31, 2004

by Linda C. Gallo, Laura M. Bogart, Ana-Maria Vranceanu, Karen A. Matthews

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The current study used ecological momentary assessment to test several tenets of the reserve capacity model (L.C. Gallo & K. A. Matthews, 2003). Women (N = 108) with varying socioeconomic status (SES) monitored positive and negative psychosocial experiences and emotions across 2 days. Measures of intrapsychic and social resources were aggregated to represent the reserve capacity available to manage stress. Lower SES was associated with less perceived control and positive affect and more social strain. Control and strain contributed to the association between SES and positive affect. Lower SES elicited greater positive but not negative emotional reactivity to psychosocial experiences. Women with low SES had fewer resources relative to those with higher SES, and resources contributed to the association between SES and daily experiences.

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