Americans and politics – the sickening connection

Press Release

Politics is taking a toll on the life of Americans – at least that’s what a new study says. New research from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln suggests yes — that we’re making ourselves sick over politics with one of the findings of the study indicating that nearly 40 per cent of Americans are stressed out over politics.

The study also found that 20 per cent of Americans are losing sleep over politics. The study is a first of its kind to look comprehensively at the physical and emotional costs of paying attention to and participating in political discourse. Previous examinations have focused almost solely on economic costs, such as time lost from work to vote or the monetary costs of supporting a campaign.

Data were collected by YouGov for five days in March 2017, with 800 respondents. YouGov uses a panel of 1.8 million people to create representative samples. Because no previous studies on this phenomenon have been completed, the questionnaire was developed by mirroring diagnostic instruments used by Alcoholics Anonymous and Gamblers Anonymous. The survey contained 32 questions in four categories — physical health, mental health, regretted behavior and social/lifestyle costs — and delved into how people perceive politics as the source of the problems they were experiencing.

Among the other findings:

  • 11.5% reported politics had adversely affected their physical health
  • 31.8% said exposure to media outlets promoting views contrary to personal beliefs had driven them crazy
  • 29.3% said they’ve lost their temper as a result of politics
  • 1 in 5 say differences in political views have damaged a friendship
  • 22.1% admit they care too much about who wins and who loses

This post was originally published on Journalism Trends

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