Marc H. Bornstein & Rodolfo de Castro Ribas Jr.
Socioeconomic status defines the place of the individual, family, or group in society with respect to educational achievement, occupational prestige, and financial resources (or other like indexes). This entry discusses the concept of socioeconomic status, its measurement, and its important place in applied developmental science. In virtually all societies, critical social values, such as education, occupation, and economic resources, are unevenly distributed; social stratification refers to the process of the organization of social systems (e.g., societies) whereby individuals, families, and groups are classified into hierarchies (e.g., social classes) according to their access or control of education, occupation, economic resources, and the like. The term socioeconomic status usually denotes the relative position of individuals, families, or groups into stratified social systems. Context is vital for understanding psychological processes, and socioeconomic status (SES) is one prominent contextual variable that has pervasive influence in psychology and applied developmental science (Argyle, 1994; Bornstein Relative ...