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Factors contributing to sense of coherence among men and women

Salla-Maarit Volanen, Eero Lahelma, Karri Silventoinen, Sakari Suominen
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/eurpub/14.3.322 322-330 First published online: 1 September 2004


Background: The purpose of this study was to examine the associations of four key areas of resistance resources (GRR), i.e. childhood living conditions, work and family life, and social relationships, with sense of coherence (SOC) among Finnish men and women. A particular interest was devoted to interactions between sex and GRR. Methods: The data derived from a representative personal interview survey collected by Statistics Finland in 1994 (N=8650, response rate 73%). This study included ages 25–64 (N=6506, 49% women). The associations of age, educational attainment, childhood living conditions, work and family, and social relationships with SOC were analysed using ordinary regression analysis. Results: Among both men and women, psycho-emotional resources rather than socio-economic circumstances were associated with SOC. These resources included the quality of the relationship with partner, social support, quality of work, and childhood living conditions. Although sex differences were small, the association of living without a partner with low SOC was stronger among men than women. Conclusion: SOC is strongly associated with the psycho-emotional resistance resources. In the Finnish context, the SOC scale was largely sex neutral.

  • resistance resources, sense of coherence, sex

Received 16 January 2003. Accepted 6 June 2003.