Study: Millennials The Most Stressed-Out Generation

Study: Millennials The Most Stressed-Out Generation


According to a recent survey, as a whole Americans stress levels are on the decline, with 20 percent of participants reporting extreme stress compared to 24 percent in 2010. When asked to rank their stress levels on a scale of one to 10, with 1 representing “little or no stress,” and 10 being “a great deal of stress,” participants average stress levels were 4.9 compared to an average of 5.2 in 2011.

Stress levels for the youngest generation—the Millennials—are significantly above average, however. Thirty-nine percent of participants aged 18 to 33 say their stress has actually increased in the past year, and 52 percent of the generation say their stress levels in the past month have been so acute they are kept awake at night. Millennials also report medical diagnoses of depression or anxiety disorders more than any other age group.

The national Stress in America survey of 2,020 US adults aged 18 and older was conducted last August by Harris Interactive for the American Psychological Association. The survey found 44 percent of Millennials reported anger and irritability associated with stress, compared to only 36 percent of Baby Boomers and 15 percent of Americans older than 67. The study found work, unemployment and college debt were some of the biggest stressors faced by Millennials.

In the 2009 APA survey, less than half of Millennials reported their jobs as a significant stressor. By 2012, however, 76 percent of the young generation was stressed out over work, compared to 65 percent of Gen Xers and 62 percent of Baby Boomers.

Millennials are growing up at a tough time,” Mike Hais, author of “Millennial Momentum” told USA Today. “They were sheltered in many ways, with a lot of high expectations for what they should achieve. Individual failure is difficult to accept when confronted with a sense you're an important person and expected to achieve. Even though, in most instances, it's not their fault — the economy collapsed just as many of them were getting out of college and coming of age — that does lead to a greater sense of stress.”

Samantha Lile


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