In this climate, we wanted to talk to youth about what they were experiencing.
It’s not clear whether this level of stress is normal among youth during elections or political shifts. Among adults, studies have found that psychological and physiological changes occur while voting and after an election, particularly when the political conversation is focused on issues that directly impact them.
Youth Distress Matters
hese responses should be concerning to those of us who work with and care about youth. During this tumultuous time, many of us continue to be exposed to news every day, everywhere we turn.
What’s more, mental health disorders among young people are currently on the rise. Between 2005 and 2014, rates of depression significantly increased for adolescents, from 8.7 to 11.3 percent, and rates of depression among young adults reached 9.6 percent. Similar trends have been observed with anxiety disorders.
There’s also much we don’t know going forward. Will feelings of hopelessness persist throughout the current administration? How will youth respond to the 2018 midterm elections and 2020 primaries? Will widespread fear, anxiety and depression affect the future health and well-being of young people?