More Teens Stressed than Adults
The results of a survey released by the American Psychological Association (APA) in Washington DC startled many psychologists at the institute. The research was looking at stress and data was taken from 1000 teens and almost 2000 adults.
Most surprising of all was the finding that more teens, 27 percent, report being under “extreme stress” than adults, where only 21 percent identify as extremely stressed. Teens rated themselves at an average stress level of 5.8 out of 10. While adults rated their stress level at 5.1 out of 10 on average. Thirty four percent of teens also reported that they expect their stress levels to increase in the coming year.
While this might not seem like a big deal psychologists are concerned that so much stress at a young age could lead to a life of chronic stress, chronic illness, poor health, and shorter lifespans. Moreover, stress has caused 40% of teens to be irritable or angry and 36% to be nervous and anxious. Furthermore, the stress can cause some teens to become depressed and suicidal. An earlier study reported that suicide attempts were higher in teens age 13-17 than for any other age group.
For both teens and adults, females report feeling disproportionately more stress than males.
The group attributes teen stress to school work, balancing activities, lack of regular exercise, the college admission process, sleep deprivation, and a lack of downtime amongst other causes. The group noted that teens are significantly less stressed during the summer months. Of course parents can try to help mitigate their child’s stress. However, researchers warn that some stress is appropriate and helps teens develop. The difficult thing is to know just how much is too much.