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Stress in America Money, inflation, war pile on to nation stuck in COVID-19 survival mode

“March 11, 2022, marks the second anniversary of the COVID-19 global pandemic declaration by the World Health Organization. In the two years since that declaration, virtually all aspects of life have been altered. To better understand the impact of the past two years on individual stress, the American Psychological Association partnered with The Harris Poll to conduct a survey between February 7 and 14, 2022. In light of recent events leading up to its release, the survey was supplemented by a late-breaking poll, fielded March 1-3. These more recent findings were alarming, with more adults rating inflation and issues related to the invasion of Ukraine as stressors than any other issue asked about since the Stress in America™ survey began in 2007. Top sources of stress were the rise in prices of everyday items due to inflation (e.g., gas prices, energy bills, grocery costs, etc.) (87%), followed by supply chain issues (81%) and global uncertainty (81%)… Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the unpredictability of the extent to which the conflict may intensify is compounding existing financial stressors that were already on the rise. Soon after Russia began bombing Ukraine, world stock markets wavered. Further, economists predict a surge in energy, wheat, corn, steel, and iron prices. Americans are bracing for economic hardship. The March survey found the rise in prices of everyday items due to inflation was rated as a stressor by the highest proportion of adults seen across all stressors asked about in the history of the Stress in America™ survey, with 87% having reported it as a significant source of stress. Not far behind was stress related to supply chain issues (81%).  The broader survey fielded in February showed the proportion of adults who noted money as a source of stress (65%) was up significantly from the Stress in America surveys in June (61%) and February (57%) 2021. Similarly, the number of adults who noted the economy as a significant source of stress (65%) has risen significantly from the Stress in America surveys in August (59%)3 and June (58%). Half of all U.S. adults (50%) indicated housing costs as a significant stressor, which is up from February 2021 (46%)…”

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