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Table 2 Representative quotes from qualitative probes

From: How has the presidential election affected young Americans?

Participant characteristics Pre-election 2-weeks post-election 4-months post-election
White, female, 15, some high school It makes me lose faith in Americans. It makes me afraid to be myself because it made me afraid of racist people. It makes me fear the future and makes me want to not live in the US anymore It makes me scared for my safety. It makes me think that in the future Americans will think it’s ok to discriminate against minorities. I’m worried that when wearing a hijab, that me or my mom will be attacked verbally or physically The travel ban affected me greatly. I’ve felt upset and frankly a little scared for me and my family’s safety. [The result] made me involved in the news and made me voice out my opinion as much as I can
White, male, 16, some high school In many conversations this election sneaks it’s way in, everyone seems to have a strong opinion and seems to hate the other side. This can be very stressful I definitely am not as personally targeted as other individuals, however I still feel quite a lot of fear. The cabinet is starting to materialize the worst scenarios I’ve felt terrible for those who are more directly negatively affected by Trump’s policies, and rather guilty that they would benefit my family, which I don’t want
Black, male, 17, some high school I don’t really care. I think my future will be a bit more cloudy [The election result] hasn’t affected me at all Don’t care, not one bit
White, genderfluid, 20, high school graduate [The election has] made me really anxious… Anxiety leads to me not sleeping as well I’m really scared and upset… harder to sleep… [I feel] more scared, feel like the future might look like a dystopian novel I had already been doing activist work, but it got me involved in some new groups
Asian, female, 20, some college It has made me shocked and frustrated and disappointed. It has made me more pessimistic about the future I’ve felt shocked and frustrated. I’m tired. I’m worried about the availability of options for my future and being discriminated against because of my religion I’ve felt upset, frustrated, sad. [Since the election] I’ve tried to be more compassionate toward others no matter what. You don’t know what people are going through
Asian, male, 20, college graduate Hasn’t affected me too much emotionally or physically either. I can feel some increased stress buildup in my shoulders if I think about the future of America for too long I am much more hesitant and worried about my future as well as America’s future as a whole. However, I am a hopeful person and strongly believe that everything will be ok I have been saddened by our country’s choices. It seems like racism and violence are on the rise, and the rich and powerful have found their greatest ally in our government. I’ve given up and just hope people make it out alive
White, female, 21, some college I feel stressed because of how intense and effectual [the election] could be. I feel depressed about the future I feel as though my role as a woman in society was not validated and MOST people are not good people, valuing themselves more than others. I’m not sleeping some nights, adding stress, increasing cortisol levels. I feel as though the world is not improving and getting better, but instead moving backwards I have been doing so poorly [emotionally and physically]. It has been so stressful, so I go on Facebook less
White, female, 23, some graduate school It’s been extremely frustrating to constantly hear the normalized hateful rhetoric directed towards women, racial/ethnic minorities, and specific religious groups. It’s contributed to my stress levels, which has made me feel more overwhelmed with my responsibilities with school and work–my poor coping mechanisms involve stress eating and exercising less I’m worried he will harm refugees and immigrants already in the country and those who will try to enter. I’m worried that he will repeal the health insurance laws that provided insurance to many people. I’m worried that he will limit access to women’s health care. I’m worried that he will make poor foreign affairs decisions that will compromise the security of people in the US and around the world I feel upset and overwhelmed. I’ve disconnected from the news a lot recently which has helped