Posted by: richarlm | November 7, 2018

Election Day Stress

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The following is a transcript of a Research that Matters piece from YOUR HEALTH Radio “Tiny Changes Can Have a Big Impact” November 3, 2018.

Adam Goldstein: Actually something that’s really critically important to what’s happening in society today. How results of presidential elections affect health, and boy, this is a loaded topic.

Stephen Hooper: Yeah, the last election created enormous distress and just anecdotally, I’m sure you’ve heard, Adam, that there were lots of families, they were arguing at the dinner table about this one and the amount of stress was probably enormous afterwards.

Adam Goldstein: And you know it’s interesting because it may be presumed, well if you were supporting a particular candidate then you were more or less happier with that candidate and if you weren’t supportive you were unhappy. What I wonder, and that’s what this research is going to show, let’s just kind of give the punchline, what I don’t know is has this been like this forever. In this particular study among 769 college students followed after the election, they were looking at whether or not there were depressive symptoms, avoidance of certain people and situations and intrusions associated with this stress.

Stephen Hooper: Correct and the population was college students, rather a large sample about 769 and the findings was that quarter of those students 25% reported clinically significant stress symptoms related to the election. So what did they do about that? In many ways, you sit there and you say, well do these students need some help for those symptoms on one side of the equation and the other side is wow, what a number.

Adam Goldstein: Whether that translates into anger and frustration and depression, it turns out that this was found higher in sexual minorities and African Americans, perhaps not surprising given what’s happening in the country. And there was less stress by registered Republicans and males. Even 25% said that the election had a negative impact on relationships. Regardless, this is so concerning and I think as a healthcare provider the willingness to, when you know people are at risk, who may be at risk, you have to ask the question and be willing to listen and maybe refer for therapy if needed.

Stephen Hooper: Additionally I would add it also impacts and suggests the importance of that college age population in the voting world. It does have an impact.


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