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Survey Finds Many College Students Experienced PTSD-Like Symptoms After 2016 Election

Survey Finds Many College Students Experienced PTSD-Like Symptoms After 2016 Election

“some had stress scores on par with that of school shooting witnesses”

In the weeks following the 2016 election, we documented multiple incidents of bizarre behavior on college campuses which included everything from group primal screams to safe spaces with coloring books and cookies. Now it all makes sense.

A survey conducted at Arizona State University by a professor from San Francisco State found that 25 percent of students experienced symptoms on par with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after the 2016 election.

Mia De Graaf writes at the Daily Mail:

25% of students say they were traumatized by the 2016 election, study says

A quarter of students found the 2016 so traumatic they now report symptoms of PTSD, according to a new study.

Researchers surveyed Arizona State University students around the time of President Donald Trump’s inauguration in 2017, and some had stress scores on par with that of school shooting witnesses’ seven-month follow-ups.

Twenty-five percent of the 769 students, who were an even mix of genders and races and socioeconomic backgrounds, reported ‘clinically significant’ levels of stress.

The most severe cases were seen among women, black, and non-white Hispanic students, who were 45 percent more likely to feel distressed by the 2016 run between Trump and Hillary Clinton.

Lead researcher Melissa Hagan, an assistant professor of psychology at San Francisco State University, believes the ‘divisive tone’ about race, identity, and what makes a valuable American ‘really heightened stress for a lot of people’.

Adele Peters of Fast Company has more:

The 2016 election was so stressful it gave college kids symptoms like they had PTSD

A few months after the 2016 presidential election, some college students experienced levels of stress comparable to what witnesses feel half a year after a mass shooting. A study of hundreds of Arizona State University students in early 2017, published today, found that 25% showed clinically significant levels of stress.

The lead author, who teaches at San Francisco State University, decided to pursue the study after seeing the reactions of her two classes the day after the election. “In both classes, students were visibly upset, and even crying,” says Melissa Hagan, an assistant professor of psychology at the university. Many of the students were women or came from immigrant families.

“They described being fearful of what the election outcome meant for the country,” she says. “I became concerned that the election might have led to clinically significant symptoms–intrusive thoughts, extreme avoidance of reminders of the election or election results, et cetera.”

One has to wonder if the media bears any responsibility for this stress. For months, Trump was described by many in the MSM as the second coming of Hitler who would put immigrants and gay people in camps. They were also told repeatedly that there was no way he could win.

Patrick Monahan of San Francisco State News touches on that in his report:

For some young adults, the 2016 U.S. election was a ‘traumatic experience’

In January and February 2017 the team surveyed 769 students enrolled in psychology courses at Arizona State University. The students represented a variety of racial and ethnic backgrounds, religions, social classes and political identities. Each student filled out a psychological assessment called the Impact of Event Scale, with questions tailored to the 2016 election. “The scale is used to gauge the extent to which individuals have been impacted by an event in such a way that it might lead to diagnosable post-traumatic stress disorder,” explained Hagan.

Twenty-five percent of students surveyed crossed that threshold, showing “clinically significant” levels of stress. The average stress score of students was comparable to the scores of witnesses to a mass shooting seven months after the event…

So what made this election so stressful? One factor, the researchers believe, was the surprise — for many, it came as a shock when Donald Trump was elected president.

If Republicans hold the House and Senate in November, prepare for a whole new round of this.


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I do hope a new round of this happens after Nov. 6

Once, my team didn’t win the big game. I got on with my life.

This country is toast. If we have such weak minded people inhabiting the halls of colleges we are truly coming to the end of our country.
We will see Occasional Cortex become the normal level of politician.
I feel bad for my granddaughter who will have to live in this mess which the left and their propaganda wing have created. It won’t happen all at once, but the US will go out with a whimper.

    C. Lashown in reply to oldgoat36. | October 23, 2018 at 12:27 pm

    CAN YOU IMAGINE….these are supposed to be the future leaders in America, the men/women who fill our fighting ranks in the military? Dear GOD! Please Lord, transfer some backbone in all these beta’s who are so easily traumatized about a mere election loss! Knocked down by one glancing blow and they consider all is lost… You can bet America’s enemies have looked at this and calculated their own chances against such a weak population. The would make wonderful sheep, but that’s about all…

    The few will rule the many. The many will be easy to control.

    History always favors those able to pass the marshmallow test.

“May I have a cookie?”

caseoftheblues | October 23, 2018 at 7:23 am

Survey shows we might need to skip over a generation…..
Good lord

“The most severe cases were seen among women, black, and non-white Hispanic …”
Apparently, “women” are not/cannot ne black or non-white Hispanic?
It always makes me laugh when I read “women and minorities” as though they are mutually exclusive groups.

The thing to remember about the left is how many of them actually believe the nonsense that is reported in the media.

They are living in a country where White Supremacists are running the federal government in cahoots with violent dictators and a known rapist was just confirmed to the Supreme Court!

And they look around and see people not freaking out!! At all!!!

It’s like they’re living through a long, slow nightmare Invasion of the Body Snatchers and no one will listen to them.

I was a college senior in November, 1968 when Nixon defeated Humphrey. There was depression, panic, tears and the general feeling that the world was ending. Then we went back to the library to study.

    txvet2 in reply to Gersh204. | October 23, 2018 at 11:49 am

    When I was in college, Kennedy stole the presidency from Nixon. I don’t recall anybody discussing much of anything but how many girls were going to be at the next party.

    ecreegan in reply to Gersh204. | October 23, 2018 at 1:22 pm

    Ah, but you had the blessing of actually needing to study, which kept your mind off political concerns. Grievance Studies majors don’t have this enforced distraction, and at many schools, liberal arts majors don’t either.

    hrhdhd in reply to Gersh204. | October 23, 2018 at 1:27 pm

    I can’t remember the president taking up any space in my head throughout my college career. Oh, wait, there was the time Bush the Elder started a war in Kuwait and our basketball game that night was postponed. Otherwise, whatever.

      MajorWood in reply to hrhdhd. | October 23, 2018 at 4:09 pm

      Arrgh! And one of the few times I could get tickets to be in the Dean Dome. Bastages! And wasn’t the war over by halftime anyway? Old Stormin Norman knew how to deliver.

Well, Arizona State is a bit “special”. Not as “special” as Berkeley or Oberlin, but about as “special” as Wellesley. Which is pretty bad.

In any case, even at someplace “special” there can be no post-trauma when there’s been no trauma. Imaginary trauma—fear of those things which live under the bed, or lurk in the closet—doesn’t count.

Trauma could be an 18-year-old draftee getting his hands blown off while trying to rescue a baby the Viet Cong have booby-trapped with a bomb.

Summary shipment to a concentration camp without charge or trial would probably qualify, too.

Adults don’t much like these things, either. So we vote Republican.


The rest of us got to see our radical left media drag a racist, communist, Islamofascist over the finish line twice then cheerlead the destruction of America and the advancement of the Muslim Brotherhood/al Qaeda/ISIS for eight long years. Our response was a lot active concern, no PTSD that I can recall.

Now they have to put up with a president who actually loves his country and has a genius for using American power to advance American interests. Boo hoo. Poor widdle traitors.

Let me pop this bubble of liberal fantasy with one questioning pin.

Do you think, in your wildest imagination, that a liberal professor from a liberal enclave such as San Fran State would *possibly* run a study in any campus on the planet with this result: “Only a tiny fraction of a percent of the student population was seriously upset by Trump’s election, and most of that percent was pretty much nuts to start with.”

A: Of course not. The results of this study were baked into the cake. I’m just wondering why the percentage is so low. I mean 3 out of 4 students really were perfectly fine with Trump’s election. If you adjust those numbers for bias (of which there undoubtedly is a lot), I’d say 9 out of 10 students look at the Trump economy and say “At least I’ll be able to get a real job when I get out.” (the last 1 out of 10 are in a major with ‘Studies” in the title)

    xdevildog in reply to georgfelis. | October 23, 2018 at 10:12 am

    Bingo! After both military experience and a law enforcement career I’ve seen a few actions that caused legitimate PTSD in others and cause me to keep a 1911 at my bedside. The most recent being an individual who blew her brains out in front of me as I tried to talk her out of suicide and get close enough to disarm her.

    Election results don’t even come close. This whole study is a sham designed to shore up the bona fides of a useless academic in a uniformly leftist institution.

    Xdevildog, Sgt. USMC, 1970-74

    amatuerwrangler in reply to georgfelis. | October 23, 2018 at 3:01 pm

    From one of the featured stories: “In January and February 2017 the team surveyed 769 students enrolled in psychology courses at Arizona State University.”

    AZ State boasts some 60K undergrads… And only psychology students were included. How about those who are enrolled in courses in chemistry, engineering, biology, etc…? Maybe they were too busy actually learning, and were not traumatized by the results of the election because it signaled a chance that they might actually have a productive job out there when they graduated. Or maybe they were intentionally not included because, them being grounded in a version of reality (they are in a university, after all) including them might cause the study not to yield the intended results.

If the Media, their teachers, and politicians all tell them they are victims they will believe it! The truth is that they are being victimized by the left and it will destroy them and could destroy this country.

The Friendly Grizzly | October 23, 2018 at 9:51 am

What these children need is a swift boot to the behind. They also need to spend their summer breaks digging ditches, tending gardens, helping the crippled and elderly, and other things that will give them some perspective on life.

Programmed from youth to throw DEFCON 1 temper tantrums whenever they don’t get their way. Add to that the fact that they usually DO get their way as a reward for the tantrums.

It’s their sole coping mechanism for life (for the paltry price of an Ivy League education.

Tweedledum and Tweedledee
Agreed to have a battle;
For Tweedledum said Tweedledee
Had spoiled his nice new rattle.

…and many of these spoiled twits will soon be running for public office….

JustShootMeNow | October 23, 2018 at 9:53 am

How are these snowflakes going to handle life after college? They’ll be traumatized when they don’t get the loan approved for that 325i. What will happen when they get called out by the HOA for not mowing their grass.

That’s a lot of snowflakes for an arrid climate. Dang global warming.

I am sooooo looking forward to seeing Trump re-elected in 2020!


So they say the nineteenth amendment was a mistake do they? Women are not mature enough to handle the franchise? Problem noted. Now how do we solve it?

    Valerie in reply to forksdad. | October 23, 2018 at 10:57 am

    Not women, so much as people willing to tolerate psychology classes taught by manipulative political partisans.

      forksdad in reply to Valerie. | October 23, 2018 at 1:40 pm

      Why do you hate science? The conclusions are clear, women and minorities cannot handlethe franchise. It’s literally cruel to expect them to. It causes mental and emotional disturbance. Don’t hate the science.

If these lefties experience PTSD as the result of an election, they have much more serious things to deal with, than the results of an election. I think I would prescribe that they meet regularly and spend time with someone who has experienced REAL PTSD – such as a military veteran, a holocaust victim, someone with a chronic, debilitating disease, or someone who has learned to live with blindness, deafness, or the loss of one or more limbs.

What bugs me about such studies is the simplistic presumption that the PTSD is because TRUMP.

In the lead-up to 2016, those same college students were likely for Bernie who as I recall, was pitching FREE COLLEGE EDUCATION. That’s some pretty strong dope he fed to the kids. Their PTSD likely started when the DNC sold Bernie out to advance Hillary. Her campaign made similar promises concerning college to appease students – or at least that was her platform ( ).

Well, their plan/platform LOST to a platform of “pay for it yourself”. IF they have PTSD, it is because they put their faith in people who made promises they couldn’t keep and were unsustainable in the long run; while sane Americans viewed those promises as being saddled with exorbitant debts incurred by other people’s kids. In TRUMP, the people said “NO!”

Financially speaking, I feel the same way about illegal immigration.

    pilgrim1949 in reply to MrE. | October 23, 2018 at 12:45 pm

    More than likely an outgrowth of suffering from the stress of being told:


    Pretty sure it’s related to frequency with which they heard (or, most-likely NEVER heard) that word spoken to them by their sperm-donor-and-womb-supplier progenitors. Hesitate to call them actual “parents” as opposed to those who spent quality AND quantity time preparing their precious little snowflakes for life out in the REAL world.

First of all, PTSD is a huge medical boondoggle. While there are some people who actually do suffer from debilitating, stress-related psychological conditions, most PTSD suffers are not among them.

All human beings experience traumatic stress several times during their lifetime. Stress is a part of life. Since the dawn of time, mankind has been learning how to deal with stress, including extreme stress, without becoming comatose and dying. This is known as living. But, in their deluded quest to return to the womb, liberal weenies have gone on a mission to make EVERYONE a victim of just about everything. And, they have made it impossible for anyone to “recover” from such “disorders” as PTSD by setting the standards for “normalcy” so high, that no one can achieve them. My favorite treatment for “PTSD” is the service dog. As a person suffering from PTSD will become extremely emotionally attached to his dog, what happens to him when the dog dies, which, statistically, it will do before the patient does? This type of “treatment” is counter productive, in the long run. Even if a person shows NO symptoms of PTSD, the liberal psychologists will maintain that they are still suffering from it.

As I said, life is stress. Everyone experiences varying levels of stress through out their lives. How we learn to deal with it is a part of life. Those who can not deal with stress are usually left along the trail by the rest of the species. Such is life. FIDO, baby. FIDO.

    amatuerwrangler in reply to Mac45. | October 24, 2018 at 12:17 am

    There is an economic component to this. The assigning of a PTSB diagnosis means that this person will need counseling and therapy, maybe even medication. This creates employment for all those psychology PhDs. B. G. Burkett makes a case for this at some VA hospitals in his book “Stolen Valor”.

    Palo Alto University (gee, where have we heard of them before?) is devoted to almost entirely psych-related majors and post-grad degrees, churning out wannabe counselors and therapists.

    Follow the money.

Coping skills are terrible in the upcoming generation.

Oh, the poor little dears! Life is not going to be kind to these weaklings.

I get as much amusement as anyone else from the SJWs in the special snowflake brigade. But I do feel somewhat sorry for them as we no longer have a system of education. We have a system of indoctrination. Not just in the sense of what think but what to fear. Which is everything that conflicts with what they’ve been indoctrinated to think.

Should you have a phobia, a responsible therapist would help you face it gradually, desensitize you to it, so you can get over it. Or at least until you can handle it. For instance, some people are so afflicted with Enochlophobia, a fear of large crowds, also known as Demophobia or a fear of gatherings of people, that they can’t handle leaving their homes. They are quite literally crippled by it. A therapist may never get them to the point where they’re entirely comfortable in large crowd or gatherings but at least they can lead a productive life.

Our education system is a form of systematic child abuse that is designed to make children anxious, cultivate that anxiety into a full blown phobia, then nurture that phobia until it’s crippling. The left, which controls education in this country, has realized that it isn’t enough to have people financially dependent on government, but also they must infantilize them so they are emotionally dependent first on their schools’ teachers and administrators and then on government. Which is job security for the Democratic party.

Hence the rise of the microaggressions, trigger warnings, safe spaces, and demands that school administrators in general keep their campuses safe. For instance, when these emotionally crippled members of the cult of leftism hear their professors give them the administration-required trigger warnings, they have been indoctrinated to believe that something in the upcoming lesson can actually harm them, even traumatize them. They immediately go into fear mode, perhaps actual panic mode, perhaps leave to seek counseling. And their counselors will tell them that their phobias are entirely normal and perhaps the student should start a petition to have the professor fired or at least make a groveling public apology, and the course material/textbook that is SO DANGEROUS it requires a trigger warning should be banned from campus, and perhaps the course should be canceled.

In other words, the phobia that student’s emotional abusers have implanted in the student over the years is once again reinforced by yet another emotional abuser.

“In the name of emotional well-being, college students are increasingly demanding protection from words and ideas they don’t like. Here’s why that’s disastrous for education—and mental health.”

So of course they developed PTSD after Trump won. They were already mentally and emotionally ill. Any parent who sends a child to public school these days should be ashamed of themselves. It’s like letting their child sleep over at Michael Jackson’s five days a week.

PTSD symptoms? Please. Are these kids repeatedly waking up in the middle of the night because of night terrors? Has their personalities changed radically since the election? Are they withdrawn? Have any committed suicide because of this? Are they jumpy when they walk by a tv with the news on talking about Trump?

Please. Suggesting these kids are anywhere close to having PTSD only marginalizes those that do have it. Real PTSD is awful. These kids are just losers. They are not the same, never have been, and never will be. They are LOSERS and pathetic……