According to the annual report, Stress In America, published by the American Psychological Association young adults aged 18-33 showed the highest levels of stress of any group tested. Out of a score of 10, with 10 being the highest level of stress, young Americans gave an average score of 5.4.
Because stress is linked to heart disease, depression, obesity and can complicate other existing illnesses, this is disturbing. 39% of this group reported that their stress had increased significantly within the last year, compared with 29% for adults who were 67 and older. People in this category said that although they had such high stress levels, they felt that they were not properly equipped to deal with their stress and manage it well.
What is triggering this glut of stress at a time of life when young people should see the world as their oyster?
People aged 18-47 indicated that work, money and job stability were their main concerns and were adding significant amounts of stress to their lives. Adults in older groups stated that their main stress came from their health or the health of relatives.
This age group reported that they were more likely to be told by a health professional that they had an anxiety disorder or depression.
"Millennials [those ages 18 to 33] are growing up at a tough time," Mike Hais, a market researcher and co-author of two books on that generation, including Millennial Momentum, told USA Today. "They were sheltered in many ways, with a lot of high expectations for what they should achieve. Individual failure is difficult to accept when confronted with a sense you're an important person and expected to achieve. Even though, in most instances, it's not their fault - the economy collapsed just as many of them were getting out of college and coming of age - that does lead to a greater sense of stress."
The general trend from the report was that overall stress levels were declining, but at what cost?
A generation of young Americans faces one of the most difficult job markets in generations and is experiencing unprecedented stress levels which could have ill health effects for years to come.
The report on Stress in America can be found here.