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Stress in America Survey: Is This the Low Point?

Stress in America Survey: Is This the Low Point?

This was the first year that the survey had questions that asked participants about their worries regarding the future of the country, so there's no way of knowing whether more Americans are stressed about that concern today than they were in the past.

People worry about money. And 72 percent, said "the media blows things out of proportion". Women reported significantly higher stress levels than men: Compared with a quarter of male respondents, over a third of women said they were anxious about the rise of hate crimes, terrorism and war.

A recent poll published by the American Psychological Association finds 59 percent of Americans surveyed think this is the lowest point in the nation's history that they can remember.

Almost two-thirds of Americans who responded to the survey [PDF] say the country's future represents a very or somewhat significant source of stress, outpacing traditional stress sources such as money and work. 95 percent of national adults said that they read or watched the news on a regular basis while 56 percent the the headlines caused them stress.

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"We're seeing significant stress transcending party lines", Arthur C. Evans Jr., PhD, APA's chief executive officer, says in "Stress in America: The State of Our Nation".

The study says 59 percent of Americans consider this to be the lowest point in US history that they can remember, including those who lived through Vietnam, World War II, the Cuban Missile Crisis and the September 11 terrorist attacks, according to a press release from the APA.

The poll was conducted from August 2 to August 31 among 3,440 participants.

Overall, Americans' stress level in 2017 is, on average, the same as it was in 2016: 4.8 on a 10-point scale.

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The most common issues causing stress when thinking about the nation are health care (43 percent), the economy (35 percent), trust in government (32 percent), hate crimes (31 percent) and crime (31 percent), wars/conflicts with other countries (30 percent), and terrorist attacks in the United States (30 percent). Black and Hispanic men also reported a significantly higher average stress level (4.8) than white men (4.2). More than half of respondents in every age group surveyed said it was the lowest point, however.

Furthermore, keeping up with the news is also stressful for adults.

The report also notes that many Americans are finding at least one healthy way to feel better: 53 percent reported exercising or doing other physical activity to cope.

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