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Generation Z: Stressed over current issues, but least likely to vote

A new report from the American Psychological Association (APA), Stress in America: Generation Z, has revealed that issues in the headlines such as immigration are causing major stress among Americans between the ages of 15 and 21. Despite this anxiety, the young adults of Gen Z who are old enough to vote were found to be the least likely to show up at the 2018 midterm elections.

According to the survey, which involved 3,458 young adults and 300 individuals who were between the ages of 15 and 17, mass shootings cause the most stress among members of Generation Z.

Young people are also very stressed over other issues in the news, such as the separation and deportation of immigrant families. In fact, America’s youngest generation was found to be even more worried about this particular issue than adults were overall. In addition, Gen Z members were more likely than other generations to report their mental health as being fair or poor.

Regardless of their stress levels, only 54 percent of Gen Z adults between ages 18 and 21 said they intend to vote in the U.S. midterm elections.

“Current events are clearly stressful for everyone in the country, but young people are really feeling the impact of issues in the news, particularly those issues that may feel beyond their control,” said Dr. Arthur C. Evans Jr., APA’s chief executive officer. “At the same time, the high percentage of Gen Z reporting fair or poor mental health could be an indicator that they are more aware of and accepting of mental health issues. Their openness to mental health topics represents an opportunity to start discussions about managing their stress, no matter the cause.”

Overall, 91 percent of Gen Z survey respondents said they have experienced at least one physical or emotional symptom because of stress, such as feeling depressed, sad, or lacking interest or motivation.

Among adults, money and work continued to top the list of significant stressors tracked annually by the survey. Nearly two-thirds of American adults reported money and work as stressors in their lives.

The Stress in America survey was conducted online by The Harris Poll on behalf of the APA in July and August 2018.

By Chrissy Sexton, Staff Writer

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