Stress in America

American Psychological Association’s Stress in America 2008 Survey Highlights

Stress Increase:

  • When asked about the recent financial crisis, almost half of Americans say that they are increasingly stressed about their ability to provide for their family’s basic needs. Eight out of 10 say that the economy is a significant cause of stress, up from 66 percent in April.

Men vs. Women:

  • Compared with men, more women say they are stressed about money (83 percent vs. 78 percent), the economy (84 percent vs. 75 percent), job stability (57 percent vs. 55 percent), housing costs (66 percent vs. 58 percent) and health problems affecting their families (70 percent vs. 63 percent).
  • Women of the Boomer generation (aged 44 to 62) and Matures (aged 63+) are most likely to report the economy as a significant stressor.
  • Generation Xers are the women most concerned about money (89 percent report money as a source of stress) and Millennials are most concerned about housing costs (75 percent report housing costs as a source of stress).

The Effect of Stress on Health:

  • In June 2008, more people reported physical and emotional symptoms due to stress than they did in 2007, and nearly half (47 percent) of adults reported that their stress has increased in the past year.
  • More people report fatigue (53 percent compared to 51 percent in 2007), feelings of irritability or anger (60 percent compared to 50 percent in 2007) and lying awake at night (52 percent compared to 48 percent in 2007) as a result of stress, in addition to other symptoms including lack of interest or motivation, feeling depressed or sad, headaches and muscular tension.
  • Women were more likely than men to report unhealthy behaviors to manage stress like eating poorly (56 versus 40 percent), shopping (25 versus 11 percent), or napping (43 versus 32 percent).

This information was taken fromĀ There are links to stress data from some of the biggest cities in America, including New York City.

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