Related Stress Took Its Toll On Americans

Uncertainty about the future can raise stress levels psychologists say. Here students in Charlotte N.C. hold hands during a Sept. 21 protest after Keith Lamont Scott was shot and killed by a police officer

Unsurprisingly, Democrats were far more stressed about Trump's election; 72% Democrats named the result of the 2016 presidential election as a significant source of stress, compared with just 26% of Republicans. While a surge in the stress factors is nothing new for APA researchers, this time around Americans can't find their peace of mind because of the latest developments on the political stage, found investigators.

Additionally, the percentage reporting police violence toward minorities as a very or somewhat significant source of stress increased from 36 per cent to 44 per cent during the same period.

Those are among the findings of a recent poll by the American Psychological Association, which found 57 percent of respondents said the current political climate is either a very significant or somewhat significant source of stress.

"The fact that two-thirds of Americans are saying the future of the nation is causing them stress, it is a startling number", Vaile Wright, psychologist and a member of the APA's Stress in America team, told The Washington Post after the poll was released.

In the report, which is part of the APA's annual Stress in America study, 1,019 American adults were surveyed-including registered Republicans and Democrats-between January 5-19.

A new survey revealed that Americans are indeed stressed when thinking about the future of their nation under Trump's presidency. "If you look at the campaign and into the election, we certainly are at a time of a lot of change and a lot of uncertainty, and I would say that probably the level of predictability is less, and so it would be reasonable to surmise that stress would increase".

Percentage of respondents reporting a very or somewhat significant source of stress related to the election outcome
View Slideshow

The political climate brings Americans stress. The percentage of people reporting at least one health symptom because of stress rose from 71 percent to 80 percent over five months. 76% of them said that they fear for their future.

A greater percentage of Americans who reside in urban areas said the same (62 per cent), compared with those who live in suburban (45 per cent) and rural (33 per cent) areas.

"It's everywhere - newspapers, social media, even elevators have screens now that push news at you", Bufka says, adding that it's hard to know when to disconnect from the news cycle.

The APA gauged stress levels in August 2017 and January 2017, and the results of the January poll showed the largest increase in stress in the survey's 10-year history.

The APA recommends those experiencing stress related to the election and the political climate should perhaps take a break from the news and do something else. Because the sample is based on those who were invited and agreed to participate in the Harris Poll online research panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

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