APA: Decision-making is a struggle for young adults during COVID – Canada – 2021 – Mental Health Weekly

Abstract

In the 18 months since the onset of COVID-19, more than a third of adults, especially young adults, say they struggle to make daily decisions and important decisions in life over before the pandemic, according to a national survey released late last month by the American Psychological Association (APA).

In the 18 months since the onset of COVID-19, more than a third of adults, especially young adults, say they struggle to make daily decisions and important decisions in life over before the pandemic, according to a national survey released late last month by the American Psychological Association (APA).

The annual survey, “Stress in America 2021: Pandemic Impedes Basic Decision-Making Ability,” was conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of the APA. The survey found that stress levels have been holding up for the past few years, and despite many challenges, American adults maintain a positive outlook.

Most (70%) were confident that everything will be fine after the coronavirus pandemic ends, and more than three-quarters (77%) said, overall, that they were doing well during the coronavirus pandemic.

However, the prolonged effects of stress and unhealthy behavior changes are common, according to the APA. Daily tasks and decision-making have become more difficult during the pandemic, especially for young adults and parents. As each day can bring a new set of decisions regarding safety, security, growth, travel, work and other demands of life, Americans seem increasingly shaken by uncertainty, according to the investigation.

“The pandemic has imposed a regime of constant risk assessment on many,” APA CEO Arthur C. Evans Jr., Ph.D., said in a press release. “Each day brings a multitude of choices with an ever-changing context as routines are turned upside down and once trivial daily tasks are recast in light of pandemic life. Maintaining heightened alertness inevitably damages mental health. ”

“The pandemic has imposed a regime of constant risk assessment on many.”

Arthur C. Evans Jr., Ph.D.

Struggling with decisions

Almost a third of adults (32%) said they were sometimes so stressed by the coronavirus pandemic at times that they had difficulty making basic decisions, such as what to wear or what to eat, according to the survey. Millennials (48%) were particularly likely to struggle with this compared to other groups (Gen Z adults: 37%, Gen X: 32%, baby boomers: 14%, and older adults: 3%).

More than a third of survey respondents said it was more stressful to make daily decisions (36%) and important life decisions (35%) than before the coronavirus pandemic.

Young adults were more likely to think these decisions are now more stressful (daily decisions: 40% of Gen Z adults, 46% of Millennials and 39% of Gen Xs vs. 24% of Baby Boomers and 14% of adults older; major decisions: 50% of Gen Z adults and 45% of Millennials vs. 33% of Gen Xers, 24% of baby boomers and 6% of older adults). And just over three in five (61%) agreed the coronavirus pandemic has caused them to rethink their lives.

The survey also found that more than three in five (63%) agreed that the uncertainty about what the next few months will be stresses them, and about half (49%) said the coronavirus pandemic has made planning their future impossible.

People of color

Hispanic and black adults were less likely to say they are doing well during the coronavirus pandemic than non-Hispanic white adults, although the levels still speak of a positive overall outlook (81% of non-Hispanic white adults vs. 68 % of Hispanic adults and 72% of black adults). Nonetheless, consistent with the overall survey results, this optimistic finding contrasts with the reality of the aggravating stressors associated with the pandemic that plague marginalized communities, particularly Hispanic adults, the survey said.

Hispanic adults were the most likely to say they are grappling with the ups and downs of the coronavirus pandemic (61% vs. 51% of non-Hispanic white adults and 51% of black adults) and that they don’t know not how to handle the stress they feel due to the pandemic (43% vs. 33% and 34%, respectively).

According to the survey, this uneven burden of stress on Hispanic adults was not surprising, given survey results which highlight racial and ethnic disparities in relation to the impact of the pandemic. Specifically, Hispanic adults were more likely than non-Hispanic white adults to know someone who had been ill or died of COVID-19 (ill: 64% vs. 46%, deceased: 42% vs. 25%).

The August / COVID Resilience Survey was conducted online in the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of the APA between August 11 and 23, among 3,035 adults aged 18 and over who reside in the United States. Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish.

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