Social Structure and Mental Health: Competing Conceptual and Analytic Models

We have discussed in class that social status plays a significant role in determining the likely hood of a person to have mental illness. In the previous article for paper assignment three, it provided a research with data collected concerning the effect of social class on mental illness. The data results in the previous article supported the relationship between the two variables(social status, mental illness) stating that the lower the status a person has the more likely he or she will have mental disorder.

This article takes us into a deeper discussion by distinguishing between sociological model that focuses on the mental health consequences of patterns of social organization and sociomedical models that emphasize the social antecedents of mental disorders. The two models both utilize social characteristics, stress, and psychological dysfunction however different in their concepts of the relationships between these subjects. Stress, is emphasized in this article as to having the major impact on a person’s mental health.

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Stress is the gateway to disorders as mentioned in this article, the text, and also in our class discussions. In the case of gender, it is stated in the article that women have higher rates of disorder than men. I believe this is due to women’s status in society and in addition women are more emotionally sensitive. Women have no control over their lives at the majority of the time. With that thought, they are more vulnerable to stress and are capable of living in the state of mental illness. In the case of gender, the sociomedical model focuses on diagnosis, symptoms, and treatment of anxiety, stress, and depression.

On the other hand, the sociological model tends to be the more effective way of analyzing the relationship between stress, status, and mental disorder. The sociological model provides a clear observation because of the idea that mental illness is a social status. The labeling theory is arguably the one main supporter to the sociological model. An individual’s status in society is affected by stressors like financial problems, jobless, too many people in household that is unstable, and most important of them all is stress itself.

The sociomedical model can only consider the symptoms, behavior, and possible treatment of the mentally ill. Where on the other hand, the sociological model can define what the person is going through, and understand that the only treatment to the mentally ill is by the individuals response the reaction of society that labeled him or her. The article focuses on how the two models examine the levels of stress and its effects on specific types of disorders. After reviewing the studies, stress research which focused on a single disorder failed to determine an accurate social variation in stress process and mental health outcomes.

The two models faced discrepancies due to stress having a mental health impact that is nonspecific. However, the impact of stress was specified in the consideration of gender. The conclusion that was then drawn from these results is the cause role of social factors for a psychological disorder cannot be equated with the overall mental health impact of these social factors. In relation to our class materials, the two models are also within our discussion as to determining the differences and the relationship of the two models.

The sociomedical model has the same priorities as the medical model of psychiatry. The medical model of psychiatry has that medical ideology, which uses medical concepts to explain bizarre behaviors. Symptoms, syndrome, disease, diagnosis, and illness are some of the terms used in the medical model. The Psychiatric Model, on the other hand, is comprised of 3 aspects of mental disorder: Internal dysfunctions, non-predictable or normal responses to particular events, and non-deviant behaviors.

On the other hand, the sociological model shares a relationship with the labeling theory. The labeling theory provides us with the social construction of mental illness. This social construction is based on the reaction of society. In the sociological model, stress is the factor that impacts likely hood of the individual to have a certain type of disorder. They both share the same concept in using social characteristics to draw conclusions about the different relationships.

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Social Structure and Mental Health: Competing Conceptual and Analytic Models. (2017, Jan 28). Retrieved from