U.S. presidential election 2016 causes major stress on people across the nation

WASHINGTON, U.S. - With just two weeks to go before the all crucial U.S. Presidential elections, some Americans are enjoying the hype that has come with the ongoing election season - however, a ...


• Democrat or Republican? Get ready for the stress!

• Increasing levels of stress directly proportional to the ongoing election

• 52 percent Americans are stressed courtesy of the election

WASHINGTON, U.S. - With just two weeks to go before the all crucial U.S. Presidential elections, some Americans are enjoying the hype that has come with the ongoing election season - however, a recent survey by the American Psychological Association has revealed that not everyone is happy. 

According to the survey, the elections have in fact created major cause amongst Americans.

The survey found that for 52 percent of Americans aged 18 years and older, the elections were anywhere between somewhat to very significant source of stress. For 38 percent of respondents, political and cultural discussions on the social media were aggravating the stress.

Further, the survey pointed out that Americans are stressed irrespective of their favourite candidate. Some of the key reasons highlighted in the survey were the controversial debates and the hate speech on social media.

In an official statement, Lynn Bufka, Executive Director for Practice Research and Policy at the American Psychological Association said that arguments, stories, images and video about the election on the social media that were factual, hostile and inflammatory increased stress levels.

“That ‘very large percentage’ puts the election on par with other stress-inducing topics, such as money, work and the economy,” said Vaile Wright, a clinical psychologist and director of research and special projects at the APA. 

It pointed out that amongst all those who participated in the survey, people who used social media were more likely to be stressed by the elections.

The online survey conducted by the association with the Harris Poll between August 5 and August 31 was posted in English and Spanish and polled over 3,500 adults aged 18 and older.

Vaile Wright, a clinical psychologist and director of research and special projects at the APA said, “I think it’s clear that this election is causing significant amounts of stress for Americans. The nature of the campaigns have been very antagonistic and filled with a lot of angry, negative rhetoric. Making matters worse is that each candidate's supporters are more polarised than ever, possibly because the candidates themselves are particularly polarising with very high negative ratings. We think there is a lot of worry and fear about the future if the candidate that you don’t support ends up winning. All of this is happening within the context of a Congress that’s at its all-time lowest approval rating. All those factors combine to deteriorate the public’s confidence in their government and the future. And that, of course, creates a lot of stress and anxiety.”

Experts have advised people to stay away from the ‘election stress’ by restricting themselves from the quantity of news surrounding the elections and concentrating on the quality, by having healthy political discussions with people who have sound information of the ongoing elections.

The presidential election 2016 is scheduled to be held on November 8. 

 

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