A large number of today’s teens feel that their school days are filled with stress on a day to day basis. An online survey of 1,000 plus adolescents and close to 2,000 adults conducted by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) finds that many teens feel highly stressed and don’t have healthy coping skills.
School Year Equals Stress
The surveyed teens reported higher stress levels throughout the school year compared to summer months in numbers that seemed to mimic stress levels reported by working adults. For instance, close to 30 percent of teens reported feeling extremely stressed during the months of school and over 30 percent anticipated greater stress this school year compared to last.
Adult-Teen Stress Similar
On a scale of one to 10, adolescents reported an average 5.8 stress level while in school and a 4.6 level of stress just in the last month. Respondents over age 18 averaged 5.1 during the last 30 days. The young people said that stress kept them from meeting home (40 percent) or school (21 percent) responsibilities and that stress-related headaches (32 percent) and sleep problems (26 percent) were also an issue.
How They Cope
So, what do these teens do to cope with their stress? Not enough of them employ healthy coping skills. Only 37 percent said they exercised to lower stress. The greater number (46 percent) said that they played video games to escape stress while 43 percent went online. Here again, the young people may be mirroring what they see with adults. Among people over 18 years, only 37 percent said they exercised regularly to bring down stress levels while over 60 percent reported going online, playing video games or watching television to handle stress.
Whether you are a stressed adult or the parent of a stressed-out teen, Family Guidance Center is here to help. Our counselors can help you or your teen develop positive strategies for dealing with stress. Don’t keep stressing – call us instead.