How does socioeconomic status "get into the body" to affect health? A decade ago, when the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Socioeconomic Status and Health began to answer this question, few studies directly tested the pathways and mechanisms that contribute to the gradient relationship between socioeconomic staus and health.
The scientific research presented here captures where the field stands after 10 years of intense research by the MacArthur Network and others into the mechanisms of health disparities. In addition, it illustrates the power of a multidisciplinary approach to complex social issues. Finally, it presents potential applications of the accumulated knowledge for social interventions and raises pragmatic issues that are important to consider when science is translated into policy and intervention.