Triggered: Study finds that 25% of college students could get PTSD because of the 2016 election

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From Washington Post: Are college students “snowflakes” — triggered, traumatized and all together too delicate for the real world? Or are they apathetic — so unconcerned that they can’t be bothered to purchase stamps to send in their absentee ballots?

The two characterizations of young Americans are in conflict, observed Melissa Hagan, an assistant professor of psychology at San Francisco State University. Her research has led her to believe that neither captures what’s going on in the minds of young people. Their intense reaction to political events runs contrary to the charge of apathy, she said, while the emotional trauma they report should not be dismissed as hypersensitivity.

With a team of researchers, she surveyed 769 introductory psychology students at Arizona State University in January and February 2017, asking about their satisfaction with the 2016 election, whether they were upset about the outcome and whether the results of the race had affected their close relationships.

The results were published Monday in an article, “Event-related clinical distress in college students: Responses to the 2016 U.S. Presidential election,” in the Journal of American College Health, a bimonthly, peer-reviewed public health journal. The article finds that 25 percent of students had “clinically significant event-related distress,” which it argues can predict future distress as well as diagnoses of PTSD, commonly associated with veterans and defined by the Mayo Clinic as “a mental health condition that’s triggered by a terrifying event — either experiencing it or witnessing it.”

The research speaks to the personal toll of partisan battles, and it offers insight into the perspective of young Americans coming to political consciousness in the era of President Trump.

Hagan, the article’s lead author, said she believed it was the first of its kind examining an election’s psychological impact on college students. She was motivated to conduct the study by what she saw in her classes the day after Trump clinched the presidency.

Her students were “visibly upset,” she recalled in an interview. “Some were even crying.” They told her that they were scared and anxious about policies that had been discussed on the campaign trail, she said, as well as about the elevation of “a candidate who had an audio recording of him describing sexual assault.”

The analysis reveals that women, racial minorities, people from working and lower-middle social classes, Democrats, non-Christians and sexual minorities reported significantly more election-related distress. Accounting for connections among various factors, the most useful predictors of stress were sex, political party, religion and perceived impact of the election on close relationships — more so than race and social class. Controlling for party affiliation, other demographic factors still influenced stress symptoms. In other words, Hagan said, it wasn’t just a case of sore losers.

Read the whole story here.


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15 responses to “Triggered: Study finds that 25% of college students could get PTSD because of the 2016 election

  1. Well, let them get PSTD over something truly serious and perhaps dangerous, like being homeless. That would give them something to fret over.
    Makes me wonder: Just HOW were these snowflakes raised? But then again, their supersensitivity comes from a warped self-centeredness, which comes from “self-esteem” and NOT self-respect. The moral flaw we’re looking at here is VANITY.

    And it ends in a SUPERCILIOUS attitude!

  2. They should make a feelings coordinator so everyone has the right feelz.
    Are the youth of other countries marshmallow soft pantywaists? (rhetorical)


  4. There is no question but that TPTB program responses. The current game is that there are two political parties who are diametrically opposed to each other. In truth, they both work for the same boss.

    This is a device to control the extent of discussion and the “borders” of thought. They can be played back and forth in order to control the population while presenting the illusion of “choice”.

    At present they have decided to make Trump some sort of boogey man. I don’t agree with some of his policies (realizing that they aren’t really “his”), but I don’t see what all the fuss is about either.

    What they are doing is staking out a false dialectic. You either “choose” the gay, communist, mindless “side” or you’re a racist Nazi. The natural result of that is that these students run to mommy for protection.

    They don’t want them to grow up and become responsible anymore than a slaughter house wants their cattle to recognize the Judas goat.

  5. Instead of diplomas, they should give these wimps pussy hats.

    The REAL world is going to eat them alive.

  6. I think there’s something to this claim. I may have had my first PTSD event when I –in a fit of conflict of obligations– voted for LBJ instead of Goldwater, whom I thought was the better man. However, his running mate was General Curtis LeMay, who scared me spitless with his all-too-casual rambling on & on about using nuclear weapons to “…bomb them into the Stone Age.” It was several years later before I understood how completely evil LBJ truly was: his political ambitions became his overwhelming sin.

  7. Bless their tiny little brains and microscopic hearts. (sarc)

  8. I remember when Algore threw a tantrum and demanded a vote recount after losing the election. The whole country suffered event related stress. And every week the democrats come up with another dirty psyop that causes event related stress on the voters.

  9. Wait, 74 years ago, people of 18- 22 went ashore at Normandy (and large numbers of them got killed) and that was okay… but 25% of that age group will get PTSD if Democrats lose now?

  10. This is another piece of academic crap which isn’t worth the paper it is written on. As I recall, it was the working and middle-class citizens that elected our current president. And since then many more, including minorities, have decided to change their politics and to join the citizens that support Trump and what he is accomplishing. This report is just more academic bullsh*t.

  11. I have Liberal Burnout. That’s when you’ve mentally ODed on stupid things said by stupid people trying to sound clever and relevant.

  12. These snowflakes need to get some kahunas. They have been sold down the river by the liberal left socialists that have seized control of our education system. Until we purge these people from our education system we’ll be fighting an uphill battle.
    Open season.
    No bag limit.
    No license needed.

  13. I have people in my family that have disowned me because I support President Trump. I come right out and tell them that I voted for President Trump (I always refer to him in that manner as a sign of respect) which sends them into what my Grandpa would refer to as a “S#!T Tizzy”…. These are people that have snowflake children in their 30’s still living at home trying to find themselves…. At one point I offered to help their 1 son learn a trade and hooked him up with a job…. He failed a drug test 1 week after starting work and got canned… Made me look like a fool but they put it on me that he got let go… Now they are all happy as their son has developed a full blown drug habit and stolen everything he can from them… I suppose that is President Trump’s fault too…. The other snowflakette has rainbow hair with tattoos and piercings all over…. Now I have tattoos from a time when only bikers and sailors had them (yes have been both) but they are earned ink. She tries to tell me I am wrong too… Damn I am glad I whiz them off so well!!

  14. Well, when I was a student at a University of California campus in the late 60’s I experienced all sorts of left wing BS. It was traumatizing. Get over it, kids. What YOU are doing to people who disagree with you is worse than any election results.


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