"It may be that when something is related to your identity group it calls for a greater reliance on family than friends," Tashjian said.
The authors are continuing their work with the same participants, bringing them back to the lab for further study every three months.
"We want to see if there is any group difference in how the brain responds to rewards at the one-year mark because of the state people have been in over the last year," Tashijan said.
In the meantime, the authors said their work shows that social support and reward systems dampen depressive symptoms, highlighting two tools that might mitigate election-related distress.
"As with any distressing event, political or psychological, staying connected to significant others and continuing to engage in activities that give us pleasure is important," Galvan said. "We should treat ourselves to things that give us joy in times of distress."
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