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US citizens stressed by current political climate: study

17 February 2017

A new study from the American Psychological Association revealed that the stress levels of US citizens were rising due to the current political climate.

According to the study, 57 per cent said the current political climate was "a very or somewhat significant source of stress" and 45 per cent said the same about the election.

The survey covered the period between August 2016 and January 2017.

In terms of two-party numbers, 72 per cent of Democrats reported the outcome of the 2016 election as a significant form of stress, as against 26 per cent of Republicans who said the same.

According to 57 per cent of Republicans the future of the nation was a significant point of stress, whereas 76 per cent of Democrats voiced the same opinion.

"The stress we're seeing around political issues is deeply concerning, because it's hard for Americans to get away from it," said Katherine C Nordal, PhD, APA's executive director for professional practice in a press release from APA. "We're surrounded by conversations, news and social media that constantly remind us of the issues that are stressing us the most."

The stress was found to be much less in rural areas with 33 per cent saying they were "very or somewhat stressed" about political changes, where 45 per cent of suburbanites and 62 per cent of city-dwellers said the same.

Muslim Americans, immigrants and victims of sexual trauma experienced higher stress since the election, and mental health specialists who worked in Veterans Affairs hospitals had reported their patients had made comments such as ''This isn't what I risked my life for,'' said Vaile Wright, a licensed psychologist and member of APA's Stress in America team.

Minority groups, millennials, people living in urban areas, and those with a college education had higher levels of stress about the election, which was not surprising since those demographics tended to lean left politically.

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