One in four college students experienced “clinically significant event-related distress” after the 2016 presidential election, according to a study published this week in the Journal of American College Health.
Researchers from San Francisco State University, San Francisco, Arizona State University, and the University of California surveyed a group of nearly 800 undergraduate students at Arizona State two to three months after President Donald Trump’s surprise victory over Hillary Clinton in November 2016.
Participants were asked about their satisfaction with the election, whether they were upset about the outcome, and whether the results had affected their close relationships. Women, non-Christians, Democrats, people from working and lower-middle social classes, racial minorities, and sexual minorities reported more distress, the study found.
Of the group, 39 percent reported they were “considerably or extremely” upset by the election, while 28.5 percent said they were not all that upset. Additionally, 37.2 percent said they were completely dissatisfied that Trump won, compared to 25 percent who said they were somewhat satisfied and 19.2 percent who said they were somewhat dissatisfied – 18.5 percent said they were satisfied with the result.
“Often there is a criticism of individuals in their early 20s, that they are these special snowflakes waiting for things to happen to them,” Melissa Hagan, the report’s lead author, told The Washington Post. “Young people are not just waiting. They’re absorbing and observing, and hopefully that will not result in clinical impairment but rather inspire them to seek out and find ways to take care of themselves.”
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