Jan-Mar; 3(1): 3–4. doi: / Keywords: Health care economics, kuppuswamy’s scale, socioeconomic status. The socioeconomic . Socio-economic status is defined as an individual’s or group’s position within a hierarchical social structure. Socioeconomic status depends on. Oberoi SS. Updating income ranges for Kuppuswamy’s socio-economic status scale for the year Indian J Public Health ;
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The socioeconomic status SES is widely recognized as one of the important factors affecting the health condition of an individual or a family.
One of the scales widely used and quoted even today is the one developed by Kuppuswamy. The Kuppuswamy scale in its various forms has held steady over three decades now and is still widely used as a measure of socioeconomic status in the urban population. However, it is important to discuss the applicability in the changed modern scenario. Several scales have been developed and reported in publications that seek to assess SES of families in specific circumstances, such as in urban population or in rural population.
The original scale was published in the yearand incorporated three characteristics to be assessed and scored: A point to be noted is that the Kuppuswamy scale attempts to measure the SES of an individual in a urban community.
The Kuppuswamy scale has now been around for more than 3 decades. However, there may be certain shortcomings in its use and application that need to be discussed.
Improvement in these possible lacunae is a priority area considering the wide use of the scale in published literature and in family health advisory postings in urban areas of medical undergraduate students. The discussion is presented point-wise.
In certain family situations it may be difficult to classify one individual as the HOF. Such difficulties arise if the family has one or more elderly members who may be retired or unemployed. It may be difficult for researchers in field settings to arrive at accurate identification of the HOF. Second important point is that the education status of the identified HOF is being taken as a scalee measure for the entire family’s education level.
While this may have been reliable enough in the times gone by, it is no more reliably applicable in today’s scenario. India is in a time of dynamic demographic transitions. With increased opportunities and support, it is now common to find that in a family having an uneducated HOF, children or grandchildren have received tertiary level education or professional education.
If the eldest member of the family is identified as HOF, the chances of low score in education subscale increase as the literacy rate in India earlier was much lower than what it is now.
There has been a remarkable opening up of the Indian economy in the past years. While it may still have been possible to grade the smaller number of possible occupational profiles as was true earlier, but now it is very difficult to accurately grade each and every occupation and especially difficult to slot it into one of the assigned scores in the Kuppuswamy classification for occupation.
The classes of score possible for occupation may now prove too limited considering the myriad varieties of occupations in the current society. The category 3 of the occupation subscale creates much confusion as it is not given a name and neither is it defined clearly.
Only examples of the job profiles fitting the category are given which creates scope for ambiguity and subjectivity. An example may be an unskilled worker doing a simple occupation, but who may have lot of social standing owing to unpaid social work. The Kuppuswamy scale requires directly asking the respondent about the income earned. In our 2041, this proves to be a very tricky subject to elicit information about. Invariably it leads to nonresponses or responses that seem more likely to be underreported figures.
Even Kuppuswamy had mentioned this as a possible shortcoming.
A modification regarding the Kuppuswamy socioeconomic scale Sharma R, Saini NK – Chron Young Sci
The regular monthly or annual income may not be a true reflection of the family’s economic standing. The past economic conditions of the family can impact their present and future well-being too. The physical assets possessed by the family such as number of residential properties, number of commercial properties, extent of agricultural land holdings, investments such as gold or fixed deposits, and assets that may be regarded as investment such as vehicles, durable consumer goods, etc.
The Kuppuswamy scale in its various forms has held stead over 3 decades now and is still widely used as a measure of socioeconomic status in the urban population. Despite best efforts, we could not find any recent study on validation of the Kuppuswamy scale in the present scenario. In the absence of a universally accepted available alternative, it may be perforce necessary to keep on using the Kuppuswamy scale; but discussion scwle its merits kuppuswam demerits in the current scenario is important, especially for the health professionals and others new to the use of measures of socioeconomic conditions of a family.
National Center for Biotechnology InformationU. J Family Med Prim Care. Rahul Sharma and Narinder K. Author information Copyright and License information Disclaimer.
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This article has been cited by kuppuswzmy articles in PMC. Abstract The socioeconomic status SES is widely recognized as one of the important factors affecting the health condition of an individual or a family.
Health care economics, kuppuswamy’s scale, socioeconomic status. Occupation of Head of Family a, b The points mentioned earlier regarding the accurate identification of a HOF, and the error inherent in juxtaposing HOF’s status to that of the entire family, juppuswamy relevance for occupation also. Assessing the Income a Validity of directly asking for income The Kuppuswamy scale requires directly asking the respondent about the income earned.
Footnotes Source scle Support: Manual of socio economic status scale urban Delhi: Kuppuswamy’s socioeconomic status scale – revision for and formula for real-time updating. Online interactive calculator for real-time update of the income subscale of Kuppuswamy’s socioeconomic status scale. Mishra D, Singh HP.
A Critical Appraisal of Kuppuswamy’s Socioeconomic Status Scale in the Present Scenario