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Debt, Uncertain Jobs Reasons for Stress in Young Adults

Update Date: Feb 08, 2013 03:28 AM EST

Millennials, young adults between ages 18 and 33, are the most stressed people in the U.S. According to a recent survey, millennials' stress levels of 5.4 on a 10-point scale is higher than the national stress level which is about 4.9 on a 10-point scale. Experts attribute the rising stress levels to an uncertain job market.

The survey called "Stress in America" was conducted by the American Psychological Association and was based on the responses of more than 2,000 people.

"Clearly there are a number of pressures facing young people that might account for this increase in stress. These individuals are growing up in an era of unprecedented economic upheaval. This coincides with the time they are finishing school and trying to establish themselves in society," Norman Anderson, CEO of the American Psychological Association said, reports HealthDay.

The survey also included people of generation X (34-47 years); boomers (age 48-66 years) and matures (67 years and older). However, it was the youngest of them all that reported as the most stressed.

Also, nearly half of these young people said that they had no idea about managing stress or couldn't find ways to do it.

Although being a little stressed is okay, being stressed all the time may increase risk of heart disease and depression. Experts say that the current economic uncertainty is forcing young people to put their future plans on hold.

"Most of these young people have come out of college or graduate school with horrendous student debt into a job market where there are not very many jobs. This has put their life plans probably on hiatus; they may be postponing marriage, postponing having a family," Katherine Nordal, executive director for professional practice of the APA, told "NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams".

Young people are also more likely to give lower marks for the healthcare system with just 25 percent giving it an "A" grade compared with 32 percent people in the rest of the population, the survey found.

Not many in the U.S. are happy about the kind of health care they are given, especially for stress management.

"When people receive professional help to manage stress and make healthy behavior changes they do better at achieving their health goals. Unfortunately, our country's health system often neglects psychological and behavioral factors that are essential to managing stress and chronic diseases. In order for our nation to get healthier, lower the rates of chronic illnesses, and lower health care costs, we need to improve how we view and treat stress and unhealthy behaviors that are contributing to the high incidence of disease in the U.S," Anderson said in a press release from APA.

Learn more about stress and ways to manage it from the National Institute for Mental Health

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