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  • Monique Howard

Obama's 2008 Election Positively Impacted Black Men's Mental Health


According to Rice University's research, Obama's rise to presidency had a positive impact on the mental health of African American men. Rice sociology professor and head researcher, Tony Brown believes that too often negative circumstances such as unforeseen tragedies, or economic woes can overshadow positive contributions made during a presidential term. Brown's motivation behind his research was to discover how this iconic moment in history related to significant health-related benefits.

A study was organized by Brown and co-authors in which they monitored the mental health of African American adults for 30 days before and after the 2008 election. The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System presented a survey that reflected the evaluations of 400,000 American adults in various health aspects. Statics revealed a notable influence on the mental health of African American men.

The survey revealed that the timespan African American men experienced poor mental health averaged to four days before the 2008 election and reduced to three afterward.

Studies such as the ones performed by Brown convey the importance of determining the significant causes which impact men's mental health in daily social conditions.

“‘Yes We Can!’ The Mental Health Significance for U.S. Black Adults of Barack Obama’s 2008 Presidential Election” is available online and will be featured in the upcoming volume of the journal Sociology of Race and Ethnicity.

Photo Credit: OXY Occidental College

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