APA Survey: Presidential Elections 2016 Source of Stress and Anxiety for Americans

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump
(Photo : Brett Weinstein/Gage Skidmore/Flickr/CC) American Psychological Association (APA) released findings of a recent survey which reveal that Americans are stressed by the election battle.

American Psychological Association (APA) released a preview of findings of their annual "Stress in America" survey which reveals that this year's presidential elections is a source of anxiety to more than half of Americans.

The study was conducted by Harris Poll in partnership with APA on 3,500 American adults over the age of 18 from across the US.

According to the survey, about 52 percent of the people reported feeling stressed out this election season.

Both Democrats (55 percent) and Republicans (59 percent) said they felt anxiety watching one of the most hostile election contests in recent history.

"We're seeing that it doesn't matter whether you're registered as a Democrat or Republican -- U.S. adults say they are experiencing significant stress from the current election," said Lynn Bufka, PhD, APA's associate executive director for practice research and policy.

Bufka further noted that "election stress becomes exacerbated by arguments, stories, images and video on social media that can heighten concern and frustration, particularly with thousands of comments that can range from factual to hostile or even inflammatory."

About 38 percent of Americans attribute political and cultural discussions on social media as triggers of stress. Also, those people who use social media regularly (54 percent) to check on election news were more likely than those who use it infrequently (45 percent) to say that the election was a somewhat significant source of stress.

A similar proportion of men (51 percent) and women (52 percent) said that the 2016 US presidential election is a source of stress to them.

"Matures" who were born before 1946 were the most likely to say that election is a very or somewhat significant source of stress (59 percent), followed by Millennials (56 percent), Baby Boomers (50 percent), and Gen Xers (45 percent).

APA has provided some tips to reduce stress this election, which includes reducing media exposure of claims and counterclaims by both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, turning off newsfeeds, and taking a digital break.

The APA also advises avoiding discussions on elections if they threaten to blow out into conflicts, and to be careful not to overindulge in discussions about the election.

The association also encourages people to try to make positive contributions to the matters close to their heart, instead of worrying about them. APA recommends volunteering in community and advocacy, and reminds people that apart from presidential elections, state and local elections also provide ample opportunities for civil involvement.

The APA finally encourages people to vote, as their voice will matter.

Tags American Psychological Association (APA), US Presidential elections 2016, Donald Trump, HIllary Clinton

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