Most stressed-out generations in America: Millennials and Gen X

Work issues, money concerns, and job instability are keeping those under 50 awake at night.


Millennials and Generation Xers share a common trait: They’re the most stressed-out generations.

According to the Stress in America study released last week, 18- to 33-year-olds and 34- to 47-year-olds report an average stress level of 5.4 on a 10-point scale, compared with the national average of 4.9. The report indicated that Americans define a healthy stress level as 3.6.

“Millennials and Gen Xers are most likely to say that they are stressed by work, money, and job stability,” the report said.

Millennial unemployment rate is at 13.1 percent, above the national average of 7.8 percent, according to The Los Angeles Times.

Nearly half of millennials do not believe they are doing enough to manage their stress, the Stress in America report found. Most young people also say they are not getting stress management support from their health care provider.

That could be affecting their health, because millennials and Gen Xers are most likely to say that they engage in unhealthy behaviors because of stress, the report found. Stress has kept more than 52 percent of millennials awake at night, compared with 48 percent of Gen Xers, 37 percent of Boomers, and 25 percent of Matures, according to the report. Nearly half of millennials and Gen Xers get irritable or angry due to stress. Only 36 percent of Boomers and 15 percent of Matures report the same emotional reactions to stress.

Meanwhile, Boomers and Matures are more likely to be concerned with health issues affecting their families and themselves, the report said.

Members of the Baby Boomer generation, ages 48 to 66, reported stress levels of 4.7, while the stress levels of those considered part of the Mature generation, ages 67 and older, were at 3.7.

The American Psychological Association, with the help of Harris Interactive, conducted the survey of more than 2,000 U.S. adults in August 2012.

A study released last month found that PR professional ranks among the most stressed-out professions in America.

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