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date: 24 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The psychological assessment of social class presents a major challenge for counseling professionals. While acknowledging the importance of this construct in light of empirical evidence that attests to the relationship between social class and physical and mental health outcomes, the measurement of this complex domain remains untenable. Most literature in the area focuses on proxies of social class, most notably socioeconomic status. The complex and multifaceted nature of social class and its derivatives creates difficulties in definition and measurement. The purpose of this chapter is to highlight the following: historical perspectives related to the assessment of social class, relevant terminology, assessment indicators of social class, commonly used measures and theoretical issues, factors that impact the measurement of social class, and implications for counseling. Recommendations focusing on the need for innovative multilevel, multidimensional measures and procedures outlining a more flexible and open process of data gathering are suggested.

Keywords: social class, assessment, socioeconomic status, multidimensional measures

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