A team of researchers led by Sheldon Cohen at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh found that stress levels in America jumped at least 30% in 30 years span from 1983 to 2009. The study was based on analyzing over 6,300 people across America, using three surveys that were conducted in 1983, 2006, and 2009. Cohen is a director of Laboratory for the Study of Stress, Immunity and Disease at Carnegie Mellon University. The study is being published via the Journal of Applied Social Psychology.
The recent economic crisis and high unemployment rates in America have impacted the stress levels, as unemployed Americans have higher levels of stress than retired Americans as the retired group of citizens reported to have low levels of stress.
Researchers found stress levels for women increased 18% from 1983 to 2009. While for men, it increased 24% during the same span.
Data from the study suggest that age plays critical roles in stress levels. 30-something groups have less stressed than 20-something groups. Similarly, 40-something groups have less stressed than the 30-something groups. Other factors that play critical roles in stress levels include lower socioeconomic status, race/ethnicity, and education levels such as college versus high school.