Republicans Have Better Mental Health?

Discussion in 'CF Archive Bin' started by alaskaguy, Nov 30, 2007.

  1. alaskaguy

    alaskaguy Well-Known Member

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    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.

    One could be quick to assume that these differences are based on the underlying demographic and socioeconomic patterns related to party identification in America today. 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.

    Gallup also conducted a separate multivariate analysis that looked at the impact of a list of variables -- including party identification -- on self-reported mental health. This analysis showed that even when the impact of these other variables is controlled for statistically, there is an independent and highly significant impact of being a Republican on mental health.

    Link:
    Republicans Report Much Better Mental Health Than Others
     
  2. iceclone

    iceclone Member

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    Interesting, but since these are self-reported numbers, your title should read "Republican think they have better mental health." Judging from some member on this board, I would infer that Republican have a pretty high opinion of themselves, so the conclusion of the study is not surprising :wink:
     
  3. Cyclonepride

    Cyclonepride Thought Police
    Staff Member

    Is a bleeding heart a mental health problem?:biglaugh:
     
  4. CYKOFAN

    CYKOFAN Well-Known Member

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    Jesus Christ had a bleeding heart, especially for sinners, the poor and outcasts of society, and I try to too. If that makes me mentally weaker than a lot of greedy and self-reighteous republicans (or democrats), than I'm not ashamed of it.
     
  5. herbiedoobie

    herbiedoobie Active Member

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    This is no surprise. Conservatism is comfortable, and tends to lead to stability. Just like men and women in stable, traditional marriages and with non-risky lifestyles tend to live longer. Or how conservative investors build up wealth, long-term.

    Not that the modern-day Republican party is "conservative" or anything. And revolutionary/evolutionary change is often spurred by some mentally distressed, raving "liberal". So mental health isn't "everything."
     
  6. CYKOFAN

    CYKOFAN Well-Known Member

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    Good points, Herbie. I would also be shocked if 100 people living under the stress of poverty wouldn't have higher incidents of mental illness than 100 millionnaires, plus the poor would have much less access to good medical help to recover than the rich. I know if I was born rich and rolling in the dough I'd have a lot less to worry about than if I was born in the ghetto. Now I don't know for sure, but I'd guess about 80% of the poor are democrats and 80% of millionnaires are republicans, so I don't think the poll makes much sense, and is waaay too subject to other variables (like lying by those who are polled). Maybe it could be interpreted that republicans are more likely to lie about their mental health than democrats.
     
  7. alaskaguy

    alaskaguy Well-Known Member

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    #7 alaskaguy, Dec 1, 2007
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2007
    I would encourage you to go back and read the initial post and the link to the poll....... "This relationship between party identification and reports of excellent mental health persists even within categories of income, age, gender, church attendance, and education."

    The individuals polled were not given lie detector tests so your point that they may have lied could be valid. In addition, the individuals polled may have only thought they had good mental health as iceclone mentioned in post #2.
     
  8. alaskaguy

    alaskaguy Well-Known Member

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    As a result of this thread I recalled reading an an opinion that was published in the Wall Street Journal earlier this year. The opinion cited a study which concluded that conservatives were far more generous than liberals and it may explain why Republicans think that they have better health.

    Unfortunately, I could not locate the article using the WSJ search engine but was able to find other links to the study.

    Excerpts follow:

    For his new book Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth About Compassionate Conservatism, Arthur Brooks spent years researching data on the giving habits of conservatives and liberals. Brooks says when he began his research, he expected to find proof that liberals are the more generous group in America. But his findings show that conservatives are more generous in every way -- from volunteering, to donating blood, to giving money.

    For example, homes headed by a conservative gave 30 percent more money to charity in 2000 than liberal families. Religious upbringing, he says, played a key role in the findings.

    "Conservative households are disproportionately religiously observant," he says. "They take their faith more seriously, typically." But he is quick to clarify that that does not mean a person cannot be both a liberal and religious.

    "Now there are lots of religious liberals out there," Brooks says, "but there are three times more religious conservatives than there are religious liberals in America today -- and that's driving the biggest part of the Right-Left charity gap."

    Brooks explains that, according to his research, a household headed by a conservative, on average, gives 30 percent more dollars to charity than does one headed by a liberal -- despite earning six percent less income. He finds that significant.

    "That's an important finding because that goes contrary to our intuition and the stereotypes," he admits; "but it turns out it's not because of the politics -- the main reason for that is that conservatives are disproportionately religiously observant ...."
    Brooks also found that those who give regularly to charity are, on average, happier and healthier than those who don't.

    Religion News Service notes the author's take a commonly heard liberal mantra on the topic of helping the needy. "For too long, liberals have been claiming they are the most virtuous members of American society," he writes. "Although they usually give less to charity, they have nevertheless lambasted conservatives for their callousness in the face of social injustice."

    Another observation from Brooks' findings: liberals typically want everyone's tax dollars to support government entitlement programs -- but are hesitant to give their own money to those same programs, even when the government subsidies are inadequate.

    In the introduction to his book, the writer/author admits he was taken back by his own findings. "These are not the sort of conclusions I ever thought I would reach when I started looking at charitable giving ... 10 years ago [in graduate school]. I have to admit I probably would have hated what I have to say in this book."

    The former Democrat and Republican, who now considers himself an Independent, also admits he expects some flak for reporting his findings. "I know I'm going to get yelled at a lot with this book," he tells Religion News Service. "But when you say something big and new, you're going to get yelled at."

    Link:
    Conservatives more generous than liberals, public policy expert finds (OneNewsNow.com)
     
  9. madcityCY

    madcityCY Well-Known Member

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    nice dig! HILARIOUS!
     
  10. herbiedoobie

    herbiedoobie Active Member

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    Your posts are amazingly "troll-like". But I'll bite, anyway.

    According to a recent NPR program (I think it was "All Things Considered" and it aired around Wednesday of last week), there are just as many wealthy Democrats/liberals as there are Republicans. And the rural poor tend to be conservative/Republican.

    So the "Republicans are the party of the rich" thing really doesn't bear out.
     
  11. herbiedoobie

    herbiedoobie Active Member

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    This segues into "The Morality Thread". A conservative typically gives their money to the poor. A liberal wants the government to steal someone elses' money through taxes and give it to a program, that employs their liberal friends at high wages, who may or may not actually benefit the poor.

    It's all about riding the gov't gravy train.
     
  12. alaskaguy

    alaskaguy Well-Known Member

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    Sometimes analogies are helpful. If you ever get hit by a car, you had better hope that the next guy to come along will be a conservative. Why? Because a liberal will blame the unsafe conditions on the highways, blame budget cuts and keep
    driving. A conservative will get out of the car and help.
     
  13. iceclone

    iceclone Member

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    OK, if we are discussing this as a serious topic …

    I have no specific reason do doubt the validity of the results of this study, but thought I would provide some background. Dr. Brooks makes a bit of a living doing strange studies like this, including one that concludes that liberals are about to go extinct due to their refusal to procreate! (I’m simplifying a little bit.) If the above text quotes him correctly, then I do think he is being a bit disingenuous with the following statement: “Brooks says when he began his research, he expected to find proof that liberals are the more generous group in America.â€￾ From what I've seen, his agenda is thoroughly conservative, and the hypotheses he formulates follow that line of thinking. The purpose of this study was indeed to disproof the conventional wisdom about “bleeding heartâ€￾ liberals.

    In any case, I would hesitate to draw inference about morality from these results. I think any difference may be explained by cultural conventions. Conservatives are more likely than liberals to tithe, and my guess is that this explains the whole difference. It’s an admirable trait of that subculture, but it does not imply moral superiority. To say more I would have to read his study more carefully, but it seems like Dr. Brooks would have had to stretch the material a bit to make it into a book.
     
  14. Cyclonepride

    Cyclonepride Thought Police
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    #14 Cyclonepride, Dec 2, 2007
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2007
    The difference between liberal and conservative does not boil down to intelligence, mental health or anything else. It boils down to world view.

    Conservatives tend to believe that people are helped more when they are given a sense of individual responsibility. They believe that individual responsibility, rather than circumstances, determines a person's success or failure.

    Liberals tend to believe that circumstances determine the outcome, and that the government must improve the circumstances for some people to be able to succeed. I also truly believe that both sides come into the argument with equally good intentions. It's just that one side is wrong

    A perfect example is the way each treats the situation in the black community. Liberals want to use money and programs to correct previous injustices, while conservatives believe that, while those things can help, nothing will do more to advance a person or people than instilling a sense of personal responsibility in them.

    Liberals like to paint this as callous and racist, but I truly believe that nothing has done more than entitlement programs to keep the black community from advancing to equal success. I also truly believe that both sides come into the argument with good intentions, it's just that one side is wrong.:smile:
     
  15. Cyclonepride

    Cyclonepride Thought Police
    Staff Member

    Incidently, I'm not one to believe that racism is completely dead. Anyone who has played Xboxlive will know what I am talking about. The N word is thrown around on there with impunity, and it's disgusting.
     
  16. alaskaguy

    alaskaguy Well-Known Member

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    In his research he found that religion played a far more significant role than he would have previously believed. He found that religious people contributed about 3 1/2 times as much as secular people. Furthermore he found even when all nonreligious giving was excluded from the charities, he found that the religious givers gave far more to non religious charities. He found that religious people are far more likely to volunteer for secular charitable activities, including giving blood, and return
    money when they are accidently given too much. "There is not one significant way I have ever found that religious people are not significantly more charitable than nonreligious people" Mr. Brooks concluded.
     
  17. alaskaguy

    alaskaguy Well-Known Member

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    Excerpts follow from the following web site:
    The Chronicle, 11/23/2006: Charity's Political Divide

    Byron R. Johnson, a sociology professor and co-director of the Institute for Studies of Religion at Baylor University, says he recently gathered data that show similar results — such as high levels of civic engagement among religious people — while assembling a report on faith in America that was released in September.

    "It was not surprising to me that the lil ol' farmer in South Dakota outgave people in San Francisco," Mr. Johnson says. "But I think to the everyday citizen, this might strike them as counterintuitive."

    Mr. Brooks calls it a "bitter irony" that those favoring income redistribution are not doing much redistributing from their own bank accounts.

    As he builds his statistical case, Mr. Brooks occasionally unleashes free-market rhetoric. He calls giving as "a bucket with no leaks" — meaning that it helps both the giver and the receiver — and at times seems to argue that all government spending on social programs is suspect, given its potential to "crowd out" private giving.
    "Some people will always say that government spending (based on taxes) is necessary to pay for things that private charity will not," he writes. "This may be true. But we must remember that taxation has some very destructive consequences for communities and for the nation as a whole. Charity, in contrast, has only the upside."
     
  18. iceclone

    iceclone Member

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    I find that to be very plausible (without having looked at the research myself), and when I brought up tithing before, I meant it in the stated context of cultural traditions. If religious giving and charity are part of your culture, then such traditions are likely to extend to other aspects of your life (including giving to secular causes and volunteering your time).
     
  19. iceclone

    iceclone Member

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    I actually find this very intuitive (see my post #18 above). It has little to do with politics, however, except that more religious people vote Republican at the present time epoch.
     
  20. alaskaguy

    alaskaguy Well-Known Member

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    I remember reading about the fertility study you referenced. I googled and found a number of links that summarize the conclusions.

    link:
    ABC News: The Political Fertility Gap

    Studying numbers from the General Social Survey -- a government survey of social trends -- Brooks found that 100 unrelated liberal adults have 147 children, while 100 unrelated conservatives have 208 kids. That makes a difference, Brooks says, because "80 percent of people that express a political party preference are voting like their folks." Hence, more Republicans.

    It completely demystifies the fact that Republicans aren't having sex," she said. "Unless every Republican is procreating in a petri dish, ah ha, we too know how to have fun
     

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