Correlational research has shown that lower social standing is associated with poorer health, but it is unknown if this association is causal. Two experiments tested whether randomly assigned low subjective social status would promote ruminative coping, a mechanism leading to the development of poor health outcomes. Participants were college females, split about evenly between Blacks and Whites. Experiment 1 (N = 39) found those imagining themselves at the bottom (vs. top) of a social ladder showed more ruminative coping using rater-assessed responses. Experiment 2 (N = 42) replicated these results, extended them with a self-report outcome measure, and demonstrated that negative affect did not mediate between subjective social status and ruminative coping. Across both experiments, race/ethnicity had no effect.