Political Party and Mental Health
CURE: Interdisciplinary Undergraduate Research: Political Party and Mental Health
Dr. Anne Donnelly
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
This project investigated the link between political party and mental health in the United States. Data was gathered from previous U. S. elections, Mental Health America, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and analyzed in order to investigate the relationships in four studies. The first analyzed current associations between state mental health rankings and voting margins in the 2020 presidential election. The second analyzed this same connection but over the years 2008-2020, instead of only focusing on current data. The third compared the percentage of liberal control in the government with the percentage of American adults receiving mental health care services to uncover if the party in power has an effect on overall mental health. The fourth analyzed voting margins and state mental health rankings at the end of the term to determine if mental health was associated with being governed by the party for which the state voted. Studies 1, 2, and 4 were found to have significant relationships, with correlation coefficients greater than the critical values for α = .01 and p values from t-tests lower than .01. This indicates that voting liberal is associated with better mental health rankings at the state level, both currently and throughout previous elections. It also signifies that being governed by the party for which the state voted is associated with better mental health at the state level. In future studies, it may be beneficial to conduct individual assessments to determine if this relationship only exists at the state level.
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