Teens Are More Stressed Than Adults

Teens are more stressed out today than teenagers 30 years ago were. As college tuitions rise along with the requirements to get into a top college rise, teenagers are put under more pressure today than in previous generations.

In small doses, stress can be a powerful learning ground for teenagers to practice how to manage difficult situations before entering college and the ‘real world’. In large doses, however, stress can take many tolls mentally, emotionally and physically. Chronic stress can weaken immune systems, cause heart problems, worsen respiratory and gastrointestinal issues, and foster chronic anxiety and depression.

Unfortunately, for today’s teens, stress levels are higher than ever before, with record numbers of teenagers reporting high levels of stress, higher rates of depression and anxiety, and more.

  • Teenagers report higher levels of stress than adults.

In a survey done by the American Psychological Association, on average, teens reported their stress level at a 5.8 on a 10-point scale. Adults, on average, only reported a 5.1. In contrast, another study of 22,000 students across the U.S. found that only 22% of those surveyed claim that they feel happy at school.

  • Today’s teenagers are diagnosed with depression at a higher rate.

Twice as many teens experience episodes of depression or anxiety, compared to their counterparts from 30 years ago.

  • Teens are more likely to experience the divorce of their parents.

Compared to divorce rate from 30 years ago, a higher proportion of today’s teens are more likely to experience the divorce of their parents and a fractured home situation, which can increased stress, depression, and anxiety.

  • Teenagers don’t get enough sleep (which raises stress levels).

Teens need 8.5 to 9.5 hours of sleep a night, but 59% of middle school and 87% of high school students get less than this, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Over 50% of 15- to 17-year olds get less than seven hours of sleep nightly.

  • Students have, on average, more than three hours of homework a night.

Overtired, overstressed teenagers spend all day in classes to come home and spend, on average, more than three hours a night on homework, according to a Stanford University survey.

  • Some teens turn toward unhealthy coping mechanisms.

A study published in Frontiers of Psychology found that 38% of the students surveyed claimed they had consumed alcohol within the last month. Consuming drugs and alcohol as a teenager, who is still physically developing, can be more dangerous and harmful than when an adult uses drugs or alcohol.