79% of adults experience stress related to mass shooting fears

The possibility of a mass shooting causes stress among most (79 percent) U.S. adults, according to a survey conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of the American Psychological Association.

The survey found 1 in 3 adults in the U.S. now avoid places and events due to fear of a mass shooting. People most commonly said they avoid public events, the mall and schools or universities.

The stress of a mass shooting also weighs more heavily on minority populations, according to the survey. Sixty percent of African American respondents and 50 percent of Hispanic respondents said they fear they or someone they know will be a mass shooting victim, compared to 41 percent of white respondents.

Roughly 1 in 5 survey respondents said they have never experienced stress related to fear of a mass shooting.

"It's clear that mass shootings are taking a toll on our mental health, and we should be particularly concerned that they are affecting the way many of us are living our daily lives," Arthur Evans Jr., PhD, CEO of the APA, said in a press release. 

The online survey was conducted among more than 2,000 U.S. adults between Aug. 8-12. It was conducted shortly after the Aug. 3 shooting in El Paso, Texas, that killed 22 people and the Aug. 4 shooting in Dayton, Ohio, that killed 10 people.


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