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A report completed by the American Psychological Association showed some alarming results when the study titled “Stress in America 2009” was published on November 3, 2009. The survey, which was taken by over 1,500 adults, shows that the amount of stress related to school performance and family finances has a much larger impact on teenagers than their parents realize. According to the APA survey, tweens and teenagers were more likely to say that their stress had increased in comparison to last year. 45 percent of teenagers, between the ages of 13 and 17, reported that they feel more stress than last year, but only 28 percent of the teenager’s parents believed that their children’s stress level had increased. Most importantly, less than 5 percent of parents considered their children’s stress to be severe, while 14 percent of tweens and 28 percent of teenagers considered their stress levels to be severe. 30 percent of teens and tweens reported that their family’s financial difficulties were causing concern, while only 18 percent of parents thought financial difficulties were causing stress for their children. 44 percent of teens and tweens reported that worry over school performance was causing stress, while only 34 percent of parents believed school performance was causing their children stress. The results are even more alarming when considering the physical effects that stress has on young adults. According to the survey, 30 percent of tweens and 42 percent of teens get stress related headaches and have diffuculty sleeping. Chronic stress can lead to general anxiety disorder or depression.
It is becoming clear that stress is the number one health concern facing tweens and teens today. If young adults are not able to properly manage their stress, they will suffer from the same physical ailments as their parents do today. 66 percent of adults in the United States have been told by their doctors that they have one or more chronic stress-related conditions. 70 percent of adults have received recommendations from their health care providers to change either their lifestyle or behavior to help cope with stress more effectively. The most common chronic ailments that are attributed to high levels of stress are high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Both of those ailments can lead to more serious health concerns, such as heart attacks or stroke. Children and young adults who suffer from chronic stress can benefit from psychotherapy and even learning relaxation techniques.
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