Four Factor Index of Social Status

IV. The Estimation of Status

The status score of an individual or a nuclear family unit is estimated by combining information on sex, marital status, education, and occupation. The status score of an individual is calculated by multiplying the scale value for occupation by a weight of five (5) and the scale value for education by a weight of three (3). To calculate the status score for a nuclear family it is necessary to determine the education, occupation, and marital status of its head or heads and their relationship to the labor force in the present, or for retired persons in the past. Two examples illustrate this point:

a. John Smith lives with his spouse who is a housewife.6 He is the manager of a supermarket. He completed high school and one year of business college. His status score is computed as follows:

6 (occupation) x 5 (factor weight) = 30
5 (education) x 3 (factor weight) = 15
total score = 45

b. The Peter Paul family’s score is computed differently because both Peter and his wife are gainfully employed. Peter is an installer for the telephone company. His wife is employed as a clerk in an insurance company office. Peter completed high school. His wife completed high school and one year of business college. The scores for each are calculated as follows:

Peter Paul
4 (occupation) x 5 (factor weight) = 20
4 (education) x 3 (factor weight) = 12
total score = 32

May Paul
5 (occupation) x 5 (factor weight) = 25
5 (education) x 3 (factor weight) = 15
total score = 40
total = (32+40)/2 = 36

Computed scores range from a high of 66 to a low of 8.