StrategyOne Public Opinion Survey: Impact of 'Great Recession' Widespread; More than Just Finances Affected

77% have significantly changed their outlook on life, 49% recognize they probably won't meet their life's goals

NEW YORK, July 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- More than two and a half years into the 'Great Recession', Americans report being not just financially bruised, they are emotionally bruised, too.

StrategyOne recently surveyed a representative sampling of more than 1,000 Americans and found that 77% report the economic recession has significantly changed their outlook on life.  Furthermore:

  • 58% of Americans have reevaluated their approach to life since the recession began
  • 52% have become less hopeful about the future since the recession began
  • 49% came to the realization since the recession began that in their life they would probably fall short of their personal or professional goals

In addition, significant numbers of Americans report their temperaments and behaviors have changed - for the worse - since the recession began in December 2007.

  • 42% of Americans have become more easily angry or emotional since the recession began
  • 41% have become more depressed or are frequently sad since the recession began
  • 33% find themselves screaming or raising their voice more frequently since the recession began
  • 15% sought out assistance for mental health problems since the recession began

And a number of Americans are coping with the slow economy by drinking, smoking, or using drugs more often.

  • 19% started drinking or smoking more
  • 6% started using illegal drugs or used them more often

In addition, a number of Americans who on the cusp of key life moments, such as getting married, having a child, getting a divorce, or retiring, have postponed taking that step due to financial reasons. Indeed, the recession is specifically cited for causing:

  • 27% of women 18-34 years old to delay having a baby or child
  • 21% of Americans 55 years or older to postpone retirement
  • 18% of single Americans to postpone getting married or engaged
  • 9% of married Americans to put off getting a divorce

"There are a number of untold stories out of the 'Great Recession' - Americans changing their outlook on life, becoming less hopeful, and also putting off having a child or leaving a troubled marriage", said Bradley Honan, Senior Vice President of StrategyOne, who authored the study. "The impact of this recession on Americans can't be solely measured by job loss or how much value the stock market has lost. Instead we must consider how much the emotional and psychological outlook of the country may have been substantially altered by what's happened."

Survey Methodology:

StrategyOne conducted 1,050 online interviews among a representative sampling of Americans between June 25 and 27, 2010.  The overall margin of sampling error at the 95% level of confidence is = +/- 3.02% overall and larger for subgroups.  Statistical weights were designed from the United States Census Bureau statistics. 

About StrategyOne:

With offices in Atlanta, Chicago, London, New York, Paris, San Mateo, and Washington, D.C., StrategyOne, a Daniel J. Edelman company, employs custom public opinion research and secondary research methodologies to deliver strategic counsel to corporate, organizational and governmental clients globally. Visit www.strategyone.net for more information.

Full Question Texts & Survey Data:

Question text: How significantly has the current economic recession changed your general outlook on life?


Answer

June 2010

SIGNIFICANTLY

77%

   Very significantly

30%

   Somewhat significantly

47%

NOT SIGNIFICANTLY

23%

   Not very significantly

20%

   Not  significantly at all

3%




Question text:  Please indicate whether you have experienced any of these things since the current recession began in December 2007. Has this happened to you since the current recession began?


Answer:  % Who Said Yes

June 2010

Re-evaluated your approach to life

58%

Became less hopeful about the future

52%

Came to the realization that in your life you would probably fall short of your personal or professional goals

49%

Have become more easily angry or emotional

42%

Became more depressed or are frequently sad since the recession began

41%

Find yourself screaming or raising their voice more frequently since the recession began

33%

Started drinking or smoking more

19%

Sought out assistance for mental health problems

15%

Started using illegal drugs or used them more often

9%




Question text:  Please indicate whether you have experienced any of these things since the current recession began in December 2007. Has this happened to you since the current recession began?


Answer:  % Who Said Yes

June 2010

Delayed having a baby or child  (among women 18-34 years)

27%

Either you or your spouse postponed retirement  (among those who are 55 years or old)

21%

Postponed getting married or getting engaged  (among those who are single)

18%

Put off getting a divorce  (among those who are married)

9%




SOURCE StrategyOne



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