Millenials More Stressed Than Older Generations, According To Survey

Millenials are more stressed out than older generations, according to a recent survey by the American Psychological Association.

Millenials, defined by the APA as young adults between the ages of 18 and 33, reported higher levels of stress than their parents and grandparents. Thirty-nine percent of Millenials also said that their stress level increased in the last year. 52 percent of Millenials said that stress frequently keeps them up at night.

Generation X, defined by the APA as adults between 34 and 47, tied with Millenials in terms of average stress levels. Both groups reported an average level of 5.4 on a 10-point scale. However, 39 percent of Generation Xers said their stress level increased in the last year.

Baby Boomers (48 to 66) reported a stress level of 4.7, and Matures (67 and older) reported a stress level of 3.7.

All four generations said they experienced stress above what they considered a healthy level. For Millenials, that level was 4.0. For Matures, it was 3.0.

The APA surveyed 2,020 American adults for its annual report, “Stress in America.” The survey was conducted online by Harris Interactive in August 2012.

One of the main causes of stress for Millenials is employment, or lack thereof. With the unemployment rate in the United States rising to 7.9 percent last week, it is harder for recent graduates to find work.

“Most of these young people have come out of college or graduate school with horrendous student debt into a job market where there are not very many jobs,” said Katherine Nordal, executive director for professional practice of the APA. “This has put their life plans probably on hiatus; they may be postponing marriage, postponing having a family.”

The APA survey found that 76 percent of Millienials said work was a somewhat or significant stressor. For Gen Xers, that number was 65 percent; for Boomers, it was 62.

Unfortunately, stress can lead to some serious health problems. As we have previously reported, stress at work can lead to an increased risk of heart attack. Stress can also lead to more aggressive forms of breast cancer.

Are you surprised by the APA survey?