The John Henryism (JH) hypothesis argues that prolonged high-effort coping with chronic psychosocial stressors may be associated with elevated risk for negative health outcomes among those without sufficient socioeconomic resources. Early JH studies found a significant association between high JH, low socioeconomic status, and hypertension among African-Americans. More recently, these findings have been extended to a wide array of health status outcomes, including cardiovascular reactivity, neurohormonal secretion, and negative health behaviors. The present review provides a comprehensive overview of JHs conceptual bases and empirical support. Limitations of the construct are discussed and recommendations are made to guide future theoretical and research efforts in the area.
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Socioeconomic status (SES);
Document Type: Research Article
Department of Society Human Development and Health Harvard School of Public Health 677 Huntington Ave 7th Floor Boston MA 02115
National Institute on Aging
Duke University Medical Center
Pennsylvania State University
June 1, 2004