Social Inequality and Mental Health in Chile, Ecuador, and Colombia

Yanet Quijada, Loreto Villagrán, Pamela Vaccari Jiménez, Carlos Reyes, Luz Dary Gallardo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The results of a comparative study of social inequality and mental health show that Chile and Colombia, which have enormous social gaps despite their economic growth, are characterized by poor mental health indicators and social discontent, while the better equity indicators in Ecuador are not clearly linked to mental health. The concept of social defeat is suggested as a mediator between social inequality and individual and collective mental health, and participation and empowerment are suggested as ways of improving social well-being. Los resultados de un estudio comparativo de desigualdad social y salud mental muestran que Chile y Colombia, que tienen enormes brechas sociales a pesar de su crecimiento económico, se caracterizan por indicadores de salud mental deficientes y descontento social, mientras que los mejores indicadores de equidad en Ecuador no están claramente vinculados a la salud mental. El concepto de derrota social se sugiere como un mediador entre la desigualdad social y la salud mental individual y colectiva, y la participación y el empoderamiento se sugieren como formas de mejorar el bienestar social.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)92-108
Number of pages17
JournalLatin American Perspectives
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2019


  • Mental health
  • Public policy
  • Social defeat
  • Social inequality
  • Social well-being


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