Young mothers from lower income households making less than $50,000 per year are among the most stressed individuals in the United States.
That was the main finding of a new survey by American Psychological Association’s (APA), which found parents, younger generations and lower-income households have higher stress than others overall.
Polling 3,068 adults in the United States, the report found money continues to be a top cause of stress for Americans.
While 72% of those polled feel stressed about their finances some time during the past month, 64% cited money as a significant source of stress for them. This was especially so for parents (77%), millennials (75%) and Gen Xers (76%).
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The study also found a widening stress gap between people from lower-income households (earning less than US$50,000 per annum) and their high-earning counterparts.
“In 2007, there was no difference in reported average stress levels between those who earned more and those who earned less than $50,000, with both groups reporting the same average levels of stress (6.2 on a 10-point scale),” the survey stated.
“By 2014, a clear gap had emerged with those living in lower-income households reporting higher overall stress levels than those living in higher-income households (5.2 vs. 4.7 on the 10-point scale).”
At the same time, women reported feeling higher levels of financial stress than men (5.0 vs. 4.3 respectively). A higher percentage of women also reported to feeling stressed about finances most of the time (30% of women and 21% of men).
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On average, despite the downward trend in stress levels (from 6.2 in 2007 to 4.9 in 2014), 20% of Americans polled are still not doing enough about stress management.
Apart from money, some of the stress inducing factors were work (60%), the economy (49%), family responsibilities (47%) and personal health concerns (46%).
“All Americans, and particularly those groups that are most affected by stress — which include women, younger adults and those with lower incomes — need to address this issue sooner than later in order to better their health and well-being,” Norman B. Anderson, APA CEO and executive vice president, said.