Laura Lu

Title: Early Adversity and Young Adult Coping Efficacy are Associated with Election-Related Distress in an Ethnically Diverse Sample of Young Adults

Current research has demonstrated that sociopolitical-related stressors, such as divisive political elections and national policy changes, may negatively impact psychological and physical well-being. For example, the recent 2016 U.S. presidential election has been connected to heightened levels of avoidance, intrusion symptoms, and stress biomarkers in young adults (Hagan et al, 2018; Hoyt et al, 2018). Past literature indicates that young adults lacking the resources to cope with life stressors are more vulnerable to psychological problems (Hunt & Eisenberg, 2010).

Young adults with a history of early life adversity and/or with lower levels of coping efficacy may have been more impacted by the election. The current study found that a history of childhood adversity was associated with significantly greater election-related intrusion and avoidance symptoms and that greater young adult coping efficacy was associated with lower election-related traumatic symptomatology, controlling for satisfaction with the election results and the impact of the election on close relationships; however, when considered together, coping efficacy was not associated with lower avoidance, specifically, among young adults with a history of high adversity.