Research shows that the 2010 decade was more stressful for everyone than the 1990’s decade.
No surprises there!
In 2010, at the start of that decade, the impact of the 2008 financial crisis was reaching its peak.
And many countries are still reeling from that shock and from that worldwide crisis.
These days, endless memes and social media would have us believe that millenials are the most stressed. But the research says otherwise.
A team of researchers led by Penn State found that across all ages, there was a slight increase in daily stress in the dacade from 2010 to 2020 compared to the 1990’s. But when researchers restricted the sample to people between the ages of 45 and 64, there was a sharp increase in daily stress.
Everyone is feeling more stressed this past decade, than they were in the 1990’s
But middle aged people – aged 45 to 64 – are feeling it the hardest
“We thought that with the economic uncertainty, life might be more stressful for younger adults. But we didn’t see that.David M. Almeida, professor of human development and family studies at Penn State
We saw more stress for people at mid-life. And maybe that’s because they have children who are facing an uncertain job market while also responsible for their own parents.
So it’s this generational squeeze that’s making stress more prevalent for people at mid-life.”
More Responsibilities = More Stress
“It may have to do with people at mid-life being responsible for a lot of people,” Almeida said.
“They’re responsible for their children, oftentimes they’re responsible for their parents, and they may also be responsible for employees at work.
And with that responsibility comes more daily stress, and maybe that’s happening more so now than in the past.”
Additionally, Almeida said the added stress could partially be due to life “speeding up” due to technological advances. This could be particularly true during stressful times like the coronavirus pandemic, when tuning out the news can seem impossible.
“With people always on their smartphones, they have access to constant news and information that could be overwhelming,” Almeida said.