Variable Details

Available Studies

MAP, MARS

Scaled? 

Not Scaled

Variable Type 

Cross-Sectional

Variable Name 

ladder_composite

Categories

SES and Cognitive Resources

Subjective SES
Subjective socioeconomic status - Average of 2 items

Subjective socioeconomic status (SES) is a composite measure of self-perceived SES from the MacArthur Scale of Subjective Social Status. Participants are first presented with an image of a 10-rung ladder representing where people stand in the United States. The top and bottom rungs represent people who are best and worst off, respectively, in terms of money, education, and occupation. Participants are asked to mark an “X” on the rung where they see themselves:

Ladder 1: Where would you place yourself on this ladder, compared to all the other people in the United States? Please place a large “X” directly on the rung where you think you stand.

Participants are next presented with another image of a 10-rung ladder, this time representing where people stand in their community. The top and bottom rungs represent people who have the highest and lowest social standing in the community, respectively. Participants are asked to mark an “X” on the rung where they see themselves:

Ladder 2: Where would you place yourself on this ladder, compared to others in your community? Please place a large “X” directly on the rung where you think you stand.

From bottom to top, the rung of each ladder is assigned a value of 1 through 10 (a mark on the topmost rung is given a score of 10). Higher responses on each ladder indicate self-perceived standings closer to the people at the very top: The composite measure of subjective SES ranges from 1 to 10 and is the mean of the two ladder scores.

Note: This variable was added to MARS on 5/16/2019.