2020 presidential poll a year away but 56% Americans feel it's a 'significant stressor', says psychological association survey

The survey, which also found healthcare, mass shootings, climate change among other big stress-causing factors, said 52% people felt stressed out in the runup to the 2016 election.


                            2020 presidential poll a year away but 56% Americans feel it's a 'significant stressor', says psychological association survey

There is no dearth of reasons for stress in the life of Americans. From job security to health care to mass shootings, there are already enough for them to feel worried about. But according to the annual “Stress in America” survey carried out by the American Psychological Association (APA), the 2020 presidential election is also right up there as a major stress-causing factor for the country’s citizens. 

According to a press release from the APA made on Tuesday, November 5, the survey to gauge the American citizens’ level of stress was done between August 1 and September 3 and covered 3,617 adults across the nation. It said while the overall stress levels have not changed much over the past few years, the number of Americans who are experiencing issue-specific stress has gone up over the past year. 

The 2016 presidential election was one of the most polarizing ones in America's history. Donald Trump's victory and his subsequent stay in office has seen the mercury heading north almost everyday in America's political circles. (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)

As per the survey’s findings, 56 percent of American adults have opined that the 2020 election is already a “significant stressor” with a year still to go for the Election Day. It is a four percentage point rise from 52 percent that was registered ahead of the 2016 election. It also said that the 2020 election is found to be a more stressful topic for survey respondents identifying as Democrats than as Republicans, by almost 25 percent. 

Healthcare, mass shootings

Among other stress-causing reasons, healthcare and the rising expenses related to it were cited by 69 percent of the respondents while mass shootings got cited by 71 percent. 

Climate change, immigration, national security, sexual harassment, and even the country’s future also stressed the Americans out, the survey found. Discrimination is another factor that was considered stressful by a considerable portion of the respondents, mainly from the minority community. Sixty-three percent of the colored people who were surveyed said discrimination stopped them from having a fully productive life. Among the LGBT adults who were asked, 64 percent felt the same.

Another alarming finding of the survey is that the number of Americans in most of these stress-causing factors have only increased compared to last year.

(Donald Trump and Joe Biden; L-R) Several ugly instances in the run-up to the 2020 presidential election, including the Ukraine episode and the launch of an impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump, has already made this pre-election season a tense one. 

“There is a lot of uncertainty in our world right now”, APA’s Chief Executive Officer Arthur C. Evans Jr. said in a statement that came out with the release. “While [there] are important societal issues that need to be addressed, the results also reinforce the need to have more open conversations about the impact of stress and stress management, especially with groups that are experiencing high levels of stress”, he said.

The APA has advised a good amount of sleep every night; a regular dose of exercise and a healthy social network as ways to counter stress.

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