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Health and Voting in Young Adulthood

  • Christopher Ojeda and Julianna Pacheco

Do changes in health lead to changes in the probability of voting? Using two longitudinal datasets, this article looks at the impact of three measures of health – physical health, mental health and overall well-being – on voting trajectories in young adulthood. The results show that self-rated health is associated with a lower probability of voting in one’s first election, depression is related to a decline in turnout over time and physical limitations are unrelated to voting. Some familial resources from childhood are also found to condition when the health–participation effect manifests.

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Institute for Research in the Social Sciences, Stanford University (email:; Department of Political Science, University of Iowa (email: Data replication sets are available in Harvard Dataverse at: doi:10.7910/DVN/ZTJWUF and online appendices are available at

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British Journal of Political Science
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Ojeda and Pacheco Dataset



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