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Table 1 Effects of civic engagement on psychological distress among U.S. adults in November 2020

From: Civic engagement and psychological distress during the COVID-19 pandemic

  Model 1a Model 2b Model 3c Model 4d
n = 1000 n = 999 n = 1000 n = 999
Type of Organization Linear regression coefficient (standard error)
Unknown ref ref ref ref
Business or Professional Organization −0.010 (0.050) − 0.004 (0.049) − 0.010 (0.050) − 0.004 (0.049)
Community, Arts & Rec Organizations 0.033 (0.044) 0.045 (0.045) 0.033 (0.044) 0.042 (0.045)
Identity-based Organizations 0.046 (0.043) 0.053 (0.042) 0.046 (0.043) 0.051 (0.042)
Political Organizations 0.098* (0.044) 0.102* (0.043) 0.089 (0.081) 0.222** (0.081)
Religious Organization −0.029 (0.040) −0.012 (0.039) − 0.029 (0.040) − 0.018 (0.040)
Social Services Organizations 0.016 (0.048) 0.024 (0.047) 0.016 (0.048) 0.021 (0.048)
Type of Engagement/ Nature of interactions
 Average hours interacting with the organization each week 0.008 (0.009)   0.008 (0.009)  
 Frequency of interactions with people at the organization   −0.011 (0.014)   −0.005 (0.015)
 Political org x hours per week    0.004 (0.035)  
 Political org x frequency of interactions with people     −0.065*1 (0.036)
Demographic Controls
 Female 0.046* (0.019) 0.048* (0.019) 0.046* (0.019) 0.048* (0.019)
 Black, non-Hispanic −0.059* (0.027) −0.058* (0.027) − 0.059* (0.027) −0.057* (0.027)
 Hispanic −0.030 (0.034) −0.031 (0.034) − 0.030 (0.034) −0.030 (0.034)
 Asian, Other −0.044 (0.061) −0.042 (0.061) − 0.044 (0.061) −0.041 (0.061)
 Age −0.004*** (0.001) −0.004*** (0.001) − 0.004*** (0.001) −0.004*** (0.001)
 Household Income −0.001 (0.003) −0.001 (0.003) − 0.001 (0.003) −0.001 (0.003)
 Education Level −0.006 (0.007) −0.005 (0.007) − 0.006 (0.007) −0.006 (0.007)
 Essential Worker −0.036 (0.023) −0.036 (0.023) − 0.035 (0.023) −0.037 (0.023)
 Married/Partnered −0.060* (0.025) −0.058* (0.025) − 0.060* (0.025) −0.060* (0.025)
Constant 0.545*** (0.090) 0.563*** (0.087) 0.545*** (0.090) 0.553*** (0.087)
  1. *p ≤ 0.05, **p ≤ 0.01, ***p ≤ 0.001 statistically significant from reference category. Standard errors are in parentheses. Psychological distress was measured using the Kessler-6 scale, rescaled from 0 to 1, with 0 representing low distress and 1 representing severe distress. Associational characteristics were collected in Wave 1. Sex, race/ethnicity, age, household income, education, and married/partnered status were collected as part of the baseline NORC Amerispeak panel. Psychological distress and the essential worker variable were evaluated in Wave 3
  2. 1 Indicates use of a one-tailed significance test, based on our hypothesis that more hours spent with an association and more interpersonal interactions would be associated with lower rates of psychological distress
  3. aModel 1 examines the main effects of hours spent with the association and type of association
  4. bModel 2 examines the main effects of frequency of interactions with people in the association and type of association
  5. cModel 3 examines the main effects of the interaction between hours spent with the association and belonging to a political association
  6. dModel 4 examines the main effects of the interaction between frequency of interactions with people and belonging to a political association