Life in America: American are stressed out based on a new survey


By Rob Stein. The American Psychological Association conducted an online survey of 1,134 adults ages 18 and older from Aug. 3 to Aug. 27, including 100 adults who were parents of children ages 8 to 17. In addition to the national sample, the association surveyed another 937 adult parents. The report also includes the results of another online survey from Aug. 19 to Aug. 24 of 1,136 young people ages 8 to 17.

The survey found that a majority of Americans–51 percent–are living with “moderate” stress, which is a stress level of four to seven on a scale of one to 10. Although that’s about the same level of stress as the survey found last year, fewer adults reported being satisfied with how their employer helps employees balance work and non-work.Twenty-four percent say they are experiencing severe stress.

Not surprisingly, money, work and the economy are the leading causes of stress, and job stability is on the rise as a source of stress. Nearly half of adults reported that job stability was a source of stress, compared with 44 percent in 2009.

While most parents don’t think their children are strongly affected by their stress, their children report otherwise. Nearly three-quarters of parents say that their stress has only a slight or no impact on their children. But 91 percent of children report they know their parent is stressed.

Click here to see what stress can do to your body.

The report also measured the stress levels of specific metropolitan areas, including the District. On average, D.C. residents reported a stress level of 5.3 on a 10-point scale, which is actually slightly lower than the 5.6 reported in 2009 and 6.0 reported in 2008.