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Study: 2020 presidential election source of stress for 68 percent of Americans

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Source: American Psychological Association

(WKOW) -- With less than 10 days until the presidential election, more than two-thirds of Americans say the election is a source of stress.

According to the American Psychological Association (ASA), 68 percent of adults said the presidential election is a source of stress in their lives. That's a 16 percent increase compared to 2016.

"Where the anxiety comes from in part is just the uncertainty about what's going to happen in the future," Dr. Jack Nitshke, an associate professor of psychology at UW-Madison said.

"And that's what elections really are all about. You're looking forward to that looking ahead to that election. Nobody can know exactly what that despite all the polls, can know exactly what the outcome is going to be," Dr. Nitshke said.

The study also found election stress is significantly higher for Black adults. 71 percent reported the election as a source of stress compared to 46 percent in the 2016 election.

Millions of people have a larger interest in this election because issues like the pandemic, the economy, health care and racial justice are on their minds.

"People just are just feeling like, if my candidate doesn't win, you know, the whole country is going to fall apart," Dr. Nitshke said. "Or, you know, people are thinking about taking drastic consequences if their candidate doesn't win."

There are ways to cope with all of the stress and anxiety the 2020 election cycle brings. Dr. Nitshke suggests spending time outdoors, exercising, and having a limited amount of political conversations.

Since results from the election may not come on election night, the ASA suggests keeping busy to keep distracted.

Jessica Porter

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