Youngest Generations Experiencing the Most Stress


Graduating college, moving out, paying your own rent during a recession…what’s there to be stressed about?

According to a recent online survey conducted by Harris Interactive for the American Psychological Association, there’s a lot to be stressed about.

The survey included 2,020 participants from the U.S., ages of 18 and up; the term ‘millennials’ refers specifically to the group between the ages of 19 to 33. These young people and the generation that precedes them, Generation X-ers, self-report the highest levels of stress.

Fifty-two percent of millennials surveyed say that their stress levels have gone up in the past year, followed by their senior Gen. X-ers at 45 percent. Not surprisingly, millennials report the highest instances of being told by health care providers that they are depressed or anxious.*
Courtesy of the APA

What’s stressing these kids out?

Millennials reported their greatest stressors as money, work and relationships with the economy and family responsibilities.

The economy seemed to be a huge source of stress to all generations. Even children reported feelings of sadness, muscle tension and aches as a result of sensing parents’ stress.

Stress Levels By Generation

In the year 2012 the mean stress level was 5.2 (on a 10-point scale). Millennials have a 5.4 rating and Generation X-ers a 5.6. Millennials however, experienced a .2 increase in stress levels while other generations dropped (excluding a menial difference for the oldest generation “matures”).

Matures are experiencing a 4.5 stress level, but studies have long shown that depression and anxiety are most prevalent in the young and those above the age of 70; typically sadness and depression plateau in the middle of life.

How are these kids coping

In the 2010 report by the APA, young people rated their top coping mechanisms for stress as listening to music (61%), spending time with their family and friends (52%), and exercising or walking (49%). These activities were followed by playing video games/surfing the internet and eating, but there was a significant gap.

While we should be worrying about our young people and the levels of stress and pressure they are under, studies like these are strong indications of proper treatment for stress.

*Experts say that this could be a result of higher instances of diagnosis today.

By: Jennifer Wolfe

For More on Stress:

Stress Management

Relieve Stress in Your Daily Life

What Stress Does to Your Brain

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