Monday, June 18, 2012

Stress levels up big since the early 1980's

Stress increased 18% for women and 24% for men from 1983 to 2009, according to researchers a study of more than 6,300 people for Journal of Applied Social Psychology. It's considered the first-ever historical comparison of stress levels across the USA. In research done in 1983, 2006 and 2009, those with higher stress were women, people with lower incomes and those with less education. Findings also show that as people age, stress decreases. According to the researchers, thirty-year-olds have less stress than 20-year-olds, and 40-year-olds have less stress than 30-year-olds, who has studied the relationship between stress and disease for 35 years.

Results show increases in stress in almost every demographic category from 1983 to 2009, ranging from 10%-30%. White, middle-aged men with college degrees and full-time jobs were the group most affected by the economic downturn. This group's increase was almost double that of any other demographic group.

Experts say this study is more credible than most stress surveys because of its scientific methodology. And the results make sense, they say. When you compare the early 1980s to today, economic pressures are greater, and it's harder to turn off information, and it's harder to buffer ourselves from the world.

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