A Question of Causality: Political Beliefs and Mental Health

Boy, what I would give to get data that follows individuals over time. Here is the question: Does being dependent upon someone else make you more depressed or does being depressed make you want to depend on the government more? Surely both of these two claims could be true.

PRINCETON, NJ -- Republicans are significantly more likely than Democrats or independents to rate their mental health as excellent, according to data from the last four November Gallup Health and Healthcare polls. Fifty-eight percent of Republicans report having excellent mental health, compared to 43% of independents and 38% of Democrats. This relationship between party identification and reports of excellent mental health persists even within categories of income, age, gender, church attendance, and education. . . . .

But an analysis of the relationship between party identification and self-reported excellent mental health within various categories of age, gender, church attendance, income, education, and other variables shows that the basic pattern persists regardless of these characteristics. In other words, party identification appears to have an independent effect on mental health even when each of these is controlled for. . . . .(emphasis added)



Anonymous Keith said...

It must be a real bugger for self esteem, Knowing that God hates you....

12/03/2007 1:40 PM  
Anonymous Matt said...

When you're blindly believing what someone else tells you, having virtually no questions, I bet that makes you feel a lot better than people who are constantly depressed because both staunch democrats and staunch republicans are complete and utter morons.

12/04/2007 6:01 AM  

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