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Women handle status loss better

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NEWCASTLE, England, Sep 14, 2005 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- British researchers say men who slide down the social ladder during their lifetime take the blow much harder than women in the same position.

The University of Newcastle upon Tyne study indicated women are twice as likely to be downwardly mobile, but generally avoided the depression and poor psychological well being that were found in men.

Men who experienced a downward social shift were four times more likely to experience depression than men who improved their social status, whereas there was no marked difference in mental health between women who had moved up or down the social ladder.

The study involved men and women born in 1947 in Newcastle and followed them from childhood to age 50.

Researchers noted the findings might be explained by the fact that men born during that era gained much of their self-esteem from their careers, whereas women found fulfillment from social pursuits outside work, such as children and friendships. It's also possible that women are more emotionally resilient in such situations, the researchers suggested.

The study was published Wednesday in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International.

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