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Experiencing day-to-day discrimination or poor health is connected to higher levels of stress for Americans
Americans were pretty stressed out in 2015, according to a survey released Thursday.
The study, conducted by the American Psychological Association, found that average stress levels in the U.S. rose since 2014, from 4.9 to 5.1 on a 10-point stress scale. There was a particular increase among adults reporting “extreme stress,” with 24% saying they were highly stressed in 2015 compared to 18% a year earlier.
Since 2007 ,the APA has conducted its annual stress survey, finding that money and work are consistently the top two sources of stress (67% and 65%, respectively).
This most recent survey also tracked the impact of discrimination on stress. Some 61% of adults surveyed reported that they have experienced unfair treatment or discrimination on a day-to-day basis, and many of them experienced stress in connection to that. Hispanic and black adults reported being stressed by even the anticipation of discrimination, with 3 in 10 who reported experiencing day-to-day discrimination saying they changed their behavior or appearance to avoid harassment or get good service.
Stress is also linked with health problems, according to the survey. Those who reported their health as only “fair” or “poor” have higher stress levels on average than those who identified as “very good” or “excellent.”
The study was conducted on behalf of the APA by Harris Poll last August among some 3,361 U.S. adults.