Variations in Risk Attitude across Race, Gender, and Education

Allison B. Rosen, Jerry S. Tsai, Stephen Downs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

84 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background. Significant disparities in health care utilization exist across gender and race. Little is known about the patient-specific factors that may contribute to this variation. This study examined variations in risk attitude across major sociodemographic groups. Methods. A survey elicited utility measures for health states under risk-insensitive and risk-sensitive conditions (time tradeoff and standard gamble methods, respectively). Risk attitude was modeled assuming constant proportional risk posture, thus the utility function used was a power function. A multivariable linear regression model was used to examine the relationship between risk attitude and sociodemographic factors. Results. Of the 62 study subjects, the mean age was 47.6 years, 47% were female, and 33% were African American. Overall, 37% of respondents were decidedly risk averse, 37% moderately risk averse, 15% moderately risk seeking, and 11% decidedly risk seeking. Significant predictors of increasing risk aversion in multivariate modeling were white race (P <0.01) and lower education (P <0.05). Women also tended to be more risk averse (P = 0.07). Conclusions. This study found significant differences in risk attitude across race and educational status, with a smaller difference across gender. Further research is needed to validate these findings and clarify their contribution to racial and gender variations in health care utilization and their future role in decision and cost-effectiveness analyses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)511-517
Number of pages7
JournalMedical Decision Making
Volume23
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2003
Externally publishedYes

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Education
Patient Acceptance of Health Care
Linear Models
Educational Status
Posture
African Americans
Cost-Benefit Analysis
Health
Research

Keywords

  • Gender
  • Race
  • Risk attitude
  • Risk aversion
  • Socioeconomic disparities
  • Utility assessment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health Informatics
  • Health Information Management
  • Nursing(all)

Cite this

Variations in Risk Attitude across Race, Gender, and Education. / Rosen, Allison B.; Tsai, Jerry S.; Downs, Stephen.

In: Medical Decision Making, Vol. 23, No. 6, 11.2003, p. 511-517.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Rosen, Allison B. ; Tsai, Jerry S. ; Downs, Stephen. / Variations in Risk Attitude across Race, Gender, and Education. In: Medical Decision Making. 2003 ; Vol. 23, No. 6. pp. 511-517.
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