A friend who is in the Communications department at the American Psychological Association kindly provided me with the just-released results of their Stress in America survey, broken down by generations. As soon as I read it, I was itching to share the key findings with you:
The Stress in America survey was conducted online by Harris Interactive among 1791 adults who reside in the U.S., which included 406 Millennials (18-29 year olds), 478 Gen Xers (30-43 year olds), 651 Boomers (44-62 year olds), and 256 Matures (63 years and older).
So what did they find? Well first of all, as adults grow older they report having less stress and managing the stress they do have extremely well. 83% of Matures report a stress level below the extreme level while one-third of younger generations report extreme average stress levels of 8, 9, or 10 on a 10-point scale. Roughly half of younger adults feel the amount of stress they experience has increased over the past year while 7 in 10 Matures feel their amount of stress has stayed the same or decreased.
As it relates to the workplace, satisfaction with their employment appears fairly similar across age groups. Across generations, employees are satisfied with the way employers recognize employee contribution. Employees in the Mature age group are most likely to say they are satisfied with the types of employee involvement initiatives and opportunities for growth and development that are offered. On the other hand, employed Gen Xers are most likely to say they would recommend their workplace to others. Despite these findings, employed Millennials are more likely than Boomers and Matures to say they intend to seek other employment next year.
Employees, across generations, face similar challenges at work, with slight variations. Top stressors for employed Millennials are low salaries, long hours, unrealistic expectations, and work interfering with personal time. Top stressors for employed Gen Xers and Boomers are low salaries, lack of opportunity for growth, and too heavy a workload. Top stressors for employed Matures are physical illnesses and ailments, low salaries, and uncertain or undefined job expectations.
What was most interesting to me is that a whole lot of people in all generations cited the economy as a main source of stress, and this was before the latest crash.