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Psychological research has shown that lower socioeconomic status (SES) individuals experience higher levels of stress and tend to cope in more present-oriented ways. While some research in the field has sought to, for instance, increase future-oriented ways of being among lower SES individuals, we argue that such approaches may come at significant cost. We consider the construct of time–space distanciation (TSD) – the normative way in which time and space are abstracted from one another at cultural and individual levels – as a way to complicate psychological research on social class, stress, and coping. Across four studies, we present research on US geographical regions (Studies 1–2) and US participants (Studies 3–4) suggesting that adopting normative high-TSD orientations represents a double-bind for lower SES individuals: it allows one to enact more proactive coping strategies in the face of financial stressors such as debt (Studies 1–3), but it is also a source of disproportionate stress itself (Study 4), given the burdens faced by lower SES individuals trying to navigate time and space in culturally hegemonic ways in spite of precarity and material insecurity. We discuss how TSD offers a means of situating psychological research into precarity within the broader structural context of flexible capitalism.


This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: [In a double‐bind: Time–space distanciation, socioeconomic status, and coping with financial stress in the United States. British Journal of Social Psychology (2022)], which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions:

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British Journal of Social Psychology

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