Teens more stressed than adults

Teenage life is pretty stressful. Apparently, even more stressful than the lives of adults.

In a recent stress survey conducted by the American Psychological Association, teens scored higher than adults. On a 10-point scale, teens ranked their stress at 5.8 while adults reported a score of 5.1, according the survey.

While teens admit they’re stressed out, they also acknowledge their stress levels are unhealthy. They believe a stress score of 3.9 is healthy, according to the survey.

But most teens don’t think the stress is impacting their body or physical health (54 percent) or their mental health (52 percent). Yet, teens report experiencing feeling irritable or angry, nervous or tired – all symptoms of stress, according to the survey.

So what’s causing all this stress? For 83 percent of teens, school is a somewhat or significant source of stress. And 10 percent of teens report receiving lower grades than they’re capable of because of stress.

What’s troubling is that teens are struggling to cope with the stress.

Teens report overeating or eating unhealthy foods (26 percent), skipping meals because they’ve lost their appetite (67 percent) and not sleeping at night (35 percent) — all due to stress.

Only 50 percent of teens feel confident about their ability to handle their personal problems and 42 percent say they don’t think they’re doing enough to manage their stress, according to the survey.

A bright spot: 53 percent of teens say they feel good about themselves after exercising and 32 percent say they feel less stressed.

Marissa Harshman

Marissa Harshman

I'm the health reporter for The Columbian newspaper in Vancouver, Wash. I started at The Columbian -- my hometown newspaper -- in September 2009. Reach me at marissa.harshman@columbian.com or 360-735-4546.

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