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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 162-167

Association between general sense of mastery and income in White- and African-American adults

Department of Family Medicine, Charles Drew University, Los Angeles, California, USA

Correspondence Address:
Shervin Assari
Department of Family Medicine, Charles Drew University, Los Angeles, California
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/nms.nms_47_18

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Background: Some research has shown that general sense of mastery (i.e., sense of control over the forces that impact one's life) does not have universal causes and consequences in racial groups. For instance, sense of mastery better predicts depression and mortality for non-Hispanic Whites (NHWs) than that of African-Americans (AAs). Objectives: The objective of this study was to test the heterogeneity in the association between the sense of mastery and income by race in a nationally representative sample of NHW and AA adults. Methods: This study included a total of 3570 AA and 891 NHW adults who were enrolled to the National Survey of American Life. Variables included race/ethnicity, age, gender, socioeconomic status (SES and household income), and sense of mastery. Linear regression models were applied in the overall sample and also by race. Results: Overall, high sense of mastery was associated with high household income. In race-specific models, higher levels of sense of mastery were associated with high household income in AAs but not NHWs. Conclusions: Racial differences exist in how sense of mastery and income are correlated. It is not clear whether high income generates more sense of mastery for AAs or high sense of mastery is more essential for generating high income for AAs. Policy makers and clinicians should be aware that SES and sense of mastery are differently linked in AAs and NHWs.

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