As part of the American Psychological Association's Stress in America™ survey, 52% of American adults have reported the 2016 presidential election to be a notable source of stress in their lives, a phenomenon that has perhaps increased with social media.

The poll surveyed both Republican and Democratic adults over the age of 18, and adults from the two parties were statistically as likely as each other to be stressed by the election. There was no gender difference for stress either, but in terms of age, Millennials and Traditionalists (born 1945 or before) tended to report the highest stress levels, significantly more than Baby Boomers.

Respondents indicated that political discussions on social media tended to intensify their stress levels. Those who used social media were also more likely to report the election as a source of stress than those who did not. According to Dr. Lynn Bufka, APA’s associate executive director for practice research and policy, this may be in part because of the "thousands of comments" on social media "that can range from factual to hostile or even inflammatory" in response to political posts.

The APA has also shared recommendations for reducing election-related stress. These include limiting media exposure, engaging in community efforts related to political beliefs, avoiding potentially tense discussions, relaxing with loved ones, and, ultimately, voting.

To read the full report on these new findings, please visit the APA website.