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Mental health declined following the 2020 election, UNR research shows

People walk along the main drag in the county seat of Nye County, Monday, July 18, 2022, in Tonopah, Nev.
AP

AP Photo/John Locher, File FILE - People walk along the main drag in the county seat of Nye County, Monday, July 18, 2022, in Tonopah, Nev.

New research from the University of Nevada-Reno shows a link between the 2020 presidential election and increased levels of anxiety and depression.

According to the research, anxiety levels during the pandemic peaked in November 2020 and remained high until President Joe Biden took office in January 2021. That’s based off data collected by the U.S. Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey, which was created during the early days of the pandemic to assess the social, economic and health status of Americans.

UNR Associate Professor of Economics Sankar Mukhopadhyay told State of Nevada that the stress from the uncertainty created by election is on par with waiting for the results of a medical tests.

“We knew going into it, it was going to be close. It is not surprising that people were feeling anxious as they were facing this big uncertainty,” Mukhopadhyay said.

A similar survey conducted by the American Psychological Association in September of 2020 found that the presidential election was a source of stress for more than two-third of Americans.

Data on the 2022 election is not yet available. Muhopadhyay’s research is slated to appear in the academic journal, Economics and Human Biology, later this month.

Guests: ​Sankar Mukhopadhyay, professor of economics, University of Nevada-Reno

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Paul serves as KNPR's producer and reporter in Northern Nevada. Based in Reno, Paul specializes in covering state government and the legislature.