2023 journal article
Combatting Election Stress: Anticipatory Coping and Daily Self-Reported Physical Health
This study's purpose is to evaluate the effectiveness of anticipatory coping as a possible mechanism to reduce daily self-reported physical health consequences of forecasting election-related stress. Elections are often stressful for people. However, the research on possible physical consequences of anticipated election-related stress and ways to counter its impact is limited. We used data from the 2018 U.S. Midterm Election Stress Coping and Prevention Every Day (ESCAPED) study, which provided daily diary responses from 140 participants across the U.S. and American Samoa, ages 19-86. Participants were recruited using Amazon's Mechanical Turk (mTurk) and were asked to fill out an online survey each day for 22 days before, the day of, and 7 days after the 2018 U.S. midterm election, which fell on November 6, 2018. Questions involved forecasting election-related stress, four forms of anticipatory coping, and daily self-reported physical health. Results from multilevel models suggested that on days when participants experienced an increase in their forecasting of election-related stressors and also experienced a decrease in their anticipatory coping related to problem analysis, their daily self-reported physical health decreased. These results highlight the role that future-oriented tactics could play in managing the physical consequences of election-related stress.