"Sense of Coherence" (SOC) is a core concept of salutogenic theory. This concept can be usefully applied to analyses of stress prevention and health maintenance. Little is known about how factors that correlate with individuals' SOC vary according to regional socio-cultural conditions. The objective was to examine if living environment influenced the pattern of correlations of SOC with generalized resistance resources (GRRs) and to assess if between area SOC differences relate to GRRs. We sought to examine the relationship between SOC and psychosocial GRRs, including sociodemographic characteristics based on Antonovsky's theories. Social support and self-efficacy were found to correlate with SOC among both urban and rural residents. SOC was correlated with economic status among urban residents, but not among rural residents; further, in rural areas alone, SOC was found to correlate with residential intention, ties with relatives, and humor. Urban residents in general showed significantly higher SOC scores than rural residents. This may be due to the higher levels of social support, self-efficacy, and higher economic status found among urban residents. We suggest that the practical application of theories of SOC to health policy development in urban and rural areas may benefit from taking into account SOC related characteristics.
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