Senate Judiciary Committee member Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) (L) covers his face in frustration as he questions witnesses from Google, Facebook and Twitter during a Crime and Terrorism Subcommittee hearing in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill October 31, 2017 in Washington, DC. The committee questioned the tech company representatives about attempts by Russian operatives to spread disinformation and purchase political ads on their platforms, and what efforts the companies plan to use to prevent similar incidents in future elections. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
The APA determined its results for its 2017 Stress in America study by surveying about 3,400 American adults who were 18 years old and older and resided in the U.S. between Aug. 2 and Aug. 31.
Researchers discovered that 63 percent of U.S. citizens believe the future of the nation is a “very” or “somewhat” significant form of stress. That figure is higher than other stressors, including money, which was a source of stress for 62 percent of the people surveyed, as well as work, a source of stress for 61 percent.
When researchers dug a little deeper, they found that 59 percent of adults reported the current “social divisiveness” was also stressful. Of that number, 73 percent were Democrats and 56 percent were Republicans.
“We’re seeing significant stress transcending party lines,” APA’s CEO Arthur C. Evans said in a statement. “The uncertainty and unpredictability tied to the future of our nation is affecting the health and well-being of many Americans in a way that feels unique to this period in recent history.”
These are the political topics Americans are most concerned about:
Health care: 43 percent
Economy: 35 percent
Trust in government: 32 percent
Hate crimes: 31 percent
Wars/conflicts with other countries: 30 percent
Terrorist attacks in the United States: 30 percent
Unemployment and low wages: 22 percent
Climate change and environmental issues: 21 percent
Furthermore, keeping up with the news is also stressful for adults. About 95 percent of people are following the news regularly, but 56 percent say it causes them stress and 72 percent think the “media blows things out of proportion.”
“With 24-hour news networks and conversations with friends, family and other connections on social media, it’s hard to avoid the constant stream of stress around issues of national concern,” Evans said. “These can range from mild, thought-provoking discussions to outright, intense bickering, and over the long term, conflict like this may have an impact on health.”
But despite the stress levels among Americans, 51 percent say they are more inspired to volunteer or support a cause. About 59 percent said they had taken some form of action, such as signing petitions or boycotting companies, within the last year.
Want to learn more about the results? Read the details about the findings here.