Poll finds Americans stressed by inflation and war

News Photo: High Anxiety: Poll Finds Americans Stressed About Inflation and War

FRIDAY, March 11, 2022 (HealthDay News)

Inflation, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and lingering concerns about money and COVID-19 have stressed Americans more than ever, a new poll conducted last week reveals.

Biggest concerns: rising costs of food, energy and other everyday items due to inflation (87%); supply chain issues (81%); overall uncertainty (81%); Russia’s invasion of Ukraine (80%) and potential Russian cyberattacks or nuclear threats (80%).

In addition to these concerns cited by the thousands of adults who participated in the American Psychological Association’s America stress survey63% said their life had been changed forever by COVID-19.

“Americans have done their best to persevere over the past two tumultuous years, but these data suggest we are now reaching unprecedented levels of stress it will test our ability to cope,” said Arthur Evans Jr., the association’s chief executive.

“The number of people who say they are significantly stressed by these most recent events is staggering compared to what we have seen since the investigation began in 2007,” he said in a press release from the agency. ‘association.

Pollsters also found continued hardship for vulnerable groups of people, worries about children’s development among parents and unhealthy coping habits.

Almost half of respondents (47%) said they had been less active since the start of the pandemic. Fifty-eight percent said they experienced unwanted weight changes and 23% said they drank more.

Among respondents who gained more weight than they wanted, the average was 26 pounds. Among those who lost more weight than they wanted, the average amount was 27 pounds. (The median change in either group was 15 pounds, which means half of the respondents gained or lost more.)

The new findings add to a broader Stress in America poll conducted in February that pegged financial stress at its highest level since 2015.

A large number of adults in the new poll said separation from others and COVID-related conflict had strained relationships or ended them.

Half of respondents and 61% of essential workers said they have loved ones they have not been able to see in person in the past two years due to the pandemic.

A total of 58% of respondents said relationships were strained or ended due to pandemic-related conflict. Among these were disputes over the cancellation of events or gatherings due to COVID concerns (29%); differences of opinion on vaccines and the pandemic in general (25%) and differences on wearing a mask (24%).

APA noted that relationship difficulties and reduced social support make it more difficult coping with stress, and 56% of respondents said they could have used more emotional support during the pandemic.

“Experiencing historical threats like these often has a lasting and traumatic impact on generations,” Evans said.

As a society, he said, it is important to ensure access to evidence-based treatments and provide help to all who need it.

“This means not only connecting people in distress to effective and efficient clinical care, but also mitigating risk for those who are more likely to experience challenges and engaging in prevention for those who are relatively healthy,” Evans said.

The online survey was conducted in two parts – with 3,012 respondents in February and with 2,051 adults from March 1-3.

More information

The Cleveland Clinic has a list of 10 ways to reduce stress.

SOURCE: American Psychological Association, press release, March 10, 2022

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