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Teen Stress Statistics:

5 Main Stressors Causing Teen Stress

In Baltimore, teens were interviewed as part of a study Confronting Teen Stress, Meeting the
Challenge in Baltimore City, which looked at levels of teen stress. The following is some of the
1. School work (68%)
2. Parents (56%)
3. Friends problems (52%)
4. Romantic relationships (48%)
5. Drugs in the neighborhood (48%)
The five sources of stress most often experienced for the youth in the study were slightly
different and included:
1. School work (78%)
2. Parents (68%)
3. Romantic relationships (64%)
4. Friends problems (64%)
5. Younger siblings (64%)
How Teens Manage Stress
The study also looked at how the teenagers coped with their stress. For boys approximately
25% avoided or refused to deal with their stress
23% sought ways to distract themselves away from their stress
17% sought support
35% actively tried to reduce their stress.
On the other hand, when it came to the girls, approximately
19% avoided or refused to deal with their stress
14 % sought ways to distract themselves away from their stress
22% sought support
45% actively tried to remove or reduce their stress
In summary, boys more often used the tools of avoidance and distraction while girls looked for
support and actively tried to reduce their stress. Girls also said they experienced more stress then
boys, stemming largely from their relationships with boys and friendships with girls. Boys
attributed their stress to authority figures, (i.e. teachers). The study suggested that stress
management programs should separate girls and boys for some of the activities, since their
answers were so different. The study also recommended that programs should teach girls and
boys how to react in a healthy manner towards stress. Avoidance and aggression can be
unhealthy while exercise and keeping a journal concerning your stress are healthy outlets.
Teen Stress vs Adult Stress
Another study was conducted in August 2013 by the American Psychological Association
comparing teen stress to adult stress, the findings are interesting.

During the school year teens rate their stress at 5.8 out of 10
Adults average reported stress level is 5.1 out of 10
During summer teens reported a stress level of 4.6

Effects of Teen Stress

31% of teens reported feeling overwhelmed
30% reported feeling sad or depressed, as a result of their stress
36% of teens report feeling tired
23% report skipping a meal due to stress
Teen Stress Over Time
16% of teens say their stress has declined in the past year
31% say their stress has increased over the past year
34% believe their stress will increase in the coming year
42% of teens do not believe they are doing enough to manage their stress
13% say they never set aside time to manage stress
More and more cities and school districts are starting to look at teen stress. Some are developing
programs for teachers and families to help determine stressful situations and how to teach
healthy stress relieving tactics. There are resources online (please see the below sources for some
ideas to get started) to help parents, teachers and teenagers themselves learn more about their
stress and how to work through it.
1. American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, Helping Teenagers with Stress,
2. Center for Adolescent Health, John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health,
Confronting Teen Stress, Meeting the Challenge in Baltimore City, [pdf online].
3. National Institute of Mental Health, Anxiety Disorders, [online].
4. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention, Feeling Frazzled, Stress and What to do About It, [pdf online].
5. American Psychological Association Survey Shows Teen Stress Rivals That of Adults, [online].

February 11, 2014

American Psychological Association Survey Shows Teen
Stress Rivals That of Adults
Stress in America survey finds similar patterns of unhealthy
behavior in teens and adults, especially during school year

Influence of Stress on Health Behaviors

The survey also explored the relationship between stress and health behaviors like sleep, exercise
and eating behaviors that people say are important to them but that the survey showed are
negatively affected by stress. Survey findings illustrate that when people are living with
high stress, it appears that they are less likely to sleep well, exercise and eat healthy foods.

Stress and sleep: When adults do not get enough sleep, 21 percent report feeling more
stressed. On average, teens report sleeping far less than the recommended amount 7.4 hours
on school nights and 8.1 hours on non-school nights, compared with the 8.5 to 9.25 hours
recommended by the National Sleep Foundation. Nearly 1 in 5 teens (18 percent) say that when
they do not get enough sleep, they are more stressed and 36 percent of teens report feeling tired
because of stress in the past month.
Stress and exercise: Though people say they experience positive benefits from exercise,
such as a better mood and lessstress, few say they make the time to exercise every day. The
survey found that more than one-third of adults (37 percent) and 1 in 5 teens (20 percent) report
exercising less than once a week or not at all. Teens who report high stress during the past school
year also say they spend an average of 3.2 hours online a day, compared with two hours among
those reporting lowstress levels during the past school year.
Stress and eating: Twenty-seven percent of adults say they eat to manage stress and 34
percent of those who report overeating or eating unhealthy foods because of stress say this
behavior is a habit. Of the 23 percent of teens who report skipping a meal in the past month due
to stress, 39 percent say they do this weekly or more.
Parents and other adults can play a critical role in helping teens get a handle on stress by
modeling healthy stress management behaviors, says Anderson. When spending time
with teens, we can encourage them to exercise, eat well, get the sleep they need and seek support
from health care professionals like psychologists to help them develop healthier coping
mechanisms for stresssooner rather than later.

The Stress in America survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris
Interactive Inc., on behalf of the American Psychological Association between Aug. 3-31, 2013,
among 1,950 adults ages 18 and over and 1,018 teens, ages 13 to 17, who reside in the U.S. This
online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimates of theoretical
sampling error can be calculated. To read the full methodology, including the weighting
variables, visit APA's Stress in America Press Room.
The American Psychological Association, in Washington, D.C., is the largest scientific and
professional organization representing psychology in the United States. APAs membership
includes more than 134,000 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students.

Resilience in Adolescents: Protective Role of Social

Support, Coping Strategies, Self-Esteem, and Social
Activities on Experience of Stress and Depression
In this study, 297 adolescents (141 eighth graders and 156 eleventh graders) were
classified into 3 groups created from crossing scores of depressive symptoms and frequency of
daily hassles: well adjusted, resilient, and vulnerable. A discriminant function analysis was
performed to investigate group differences on self-esteem, social support, different strategies of
coping, and different aspects of social life. The analysis revealed that self-esteem, problemsolving coping strategies, and antisocial and illegal activities with peers helped to discriminate
groups: Well-adjusted adolescents had higher self-esteem than adolescents in the 2 other
groups; in addition, resilient adolescents had higher self-esteem than vulnerable adolescents.
For the second significant discriminating variables, antisocial and illegal activities with peers,
both resilient and vulnerable adolescents had higher scores than well-adjusted adolescents.
Finally, resilient adolescents had higher scores on problem-solving coping strategies than
adolescents in the 2 other groups.


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