A Third of Americans Experienced High Levels of Psychological Distress During Coronavirus Outbreak

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The Pew Research Center surveyed members of its American Trends Panel in both March and April to assess respondents’ experience with various types of psychological distress. Panelists were categorized as high, medium, or low in psychological distress based on their responses. The data showed that one-third of Americans have experienced high levels of psychological distress at some point during the coronavirus outbreak. More than half of adults who describe their financial situation as poor have experienced high levels of distress, as have half of those who report having a disability or handicap that keeps them from fully participating in work, school, or other activities. Individuals who responded that they were “very concerned” with becoming sick or hospitalized also had higher levels of distress compared to those who reported that they were “not at all concerned.”

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