Teens stress more than adults, especially when school is in session per a new study. Mass amounts of homework, the struggle to fit in, cramming for exams all add up to extreme stress. Stress in both teens and adults alike can have a negative impact on a number of health concerns including sleep patterns, healthy eating, and exercise, an American Psychological Association news release reported.
The research team studied 1,018 teens and 1,950 adults in the U.S. and found a common link between stress and unhealthy habits in both age groups.
Many of the teens reported their stress levels exceeded what they believed to be healthy; many of these subjects also reported being overwhelmed and experiencing feelings of depression. Over a third of the teen’s reported fatigue and about a third admitted to skipping meals as a result of stress.
The research team found teens were more likely than adults to believe the stress was not related to health consequences.
“It is alarming that the teen stress experience is so similar to that of adults. It is even more concerning that they seem to underestimate the potential impact that stress has on their physical and mental health,” APA CEO and Executive Vice President Norman B. Anderson, PhD., said in the news release. “In order to break this cycle of stress and unhealthy behaviors as a nation, we need to provide teens with better support and health education at school and home, at the community level and in their interactions with health care professionals.”
Another reason teens stress more than adults is very few teens reported their stress levels were on the decline and only 16 percent said it had gotten lower over the course of the previous year. About 34 percent expect their stress levels to rise this coming year. Half of the teens stated they were not doing enough to manage their stress.