OPTIMISM AND SOCIOECONOMIC STATUS: A CROSS-CULTURAL STUDY

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Abstract:

This research examined the relationship between optimism and socioeconomic status (SES) in a sample (N=245) of Anglo- and Mexican-Americans. Study I found small but significant correlations between both situational (measured by the Generalized Expectancy for Success Scale-Revised; GESS-R) and dispositional optimism (measured by the Life Orientation Test; LOT) and SES. Correlations were stronger for Anglo-Americans than for the sample as a whole and were not statistically significant for Mexican-American subjects. Study 2 used a purely Mexican-American sample (N=254), performed exploratory factor analysis on both the LOT and GESS-R, and correlated the rotated factor scores with SES. A GESS-R factor involving themes of social interaction correlated positively with SES (r=.17). Results are interpreted in terms of cultural differences between the two ethnic groups, particularly in light of the collectivist/individualist culture dichotomy.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2224/sbp.1996.24.1.9

Publication date: January 1, 1996

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