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  • Print publication year: 2009
  • Online publication date: June 2012

12 - Socioeconomic Stratification and Mental Disorder

from Part II - The Social Context of Mental Health and Illness


By combining the pathogenic and salutogenic paradigms, the complete state approach is the only paradigm that can achieve true population mental health. This chapter illustrates the model of health as a complete state through a review of research on mental health as a complete state. Borrowing from the World Health Organization's definition of health, here we define mental health as not merely the absence of psychopathology but also the presence of sufficient levels of emotional, psychological, and social well-being. The chapter consists of reviews of several published papers using data from the MacArthur Foundation's 1995 Midlife in the United States survey (MIDUS). The complete mental health diagnostic states have been shown to be independent risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Evidence to date suggests that flourishing, a central component of complete mental health is a desirable condition that any community, corporation would want to protect or promote in its citizens.