Given the prevalence of negativity and sensationalism in the news, I suspect individuals are also varyingly susceptible to (worsening) mental health issues arising from prolonged exposure. Perhaps as reports of distant events accumulate as an overall negative impression of the person's environment.

Research clearly shows that both nature and nurture play important roles in the genesis of psychopathology. (Tsuang, et al. 2004).

Have there been any studies at all investigating the significance of news as part of that environment as a cause of mental disorders?


Tsuang, M. T., Bar, J. L., Stone, W. S., & Faraone, S. V. (2004). Gene-environment interactions in mental disorders. World Psychiatry, 3(2), 73. pmcid: 1414673

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    $\begingroup$ You did well to provide a reference to prior research. One thing I would suggest is provide full references like I did in my edit to help. This way, if the link breaks, the paper can still be found through Google Scholar. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 10, 2019 at 8:54
  • $\begingroup$ The question itself is interesting (and okay). I don't really see how this reference is relevant, though? Could you elaborate how it is related to your question? $\endgroup$
    – Steven Jeuris
    Commented Mar 11, 2019 at 9:40

1 Answer 1


There was a talk on this topic at the 2019 Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP) conference. I haven't been able to find a published paper based on the study they presented, but the authors generally concluded that political engagement can be associated with significant mental, emotional, and social health costs.


Smith, Kevin; Hibbing, John; Hibbing, Matthew (2019). Friends, Relatives, Sanity and Health: The Psychological Costs of Politics. Presented at the annual conference of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP). Portland, OR.


Using a nationally representative sample this study investigates the impact of political engagement on the psychological health of the American electorate. Results suggest that among large numbers of Americans politics is linked to stress, depression, various compulsive behaviors and even thoughts of suicide.

  • $\begingroup$ Is political engagement the same as, part of, overlapping, or different from 'reading news'? $\endgroup$
    – Steven Jeuris
    Commented Mar 13, 2019 at 17:36

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