Who Experiences The Most Stress?

Lynn Dorman, Ph.D. // Aging


August 22  

I'm not sure there is a "correct" answer – but one might guess that at any given time, some age group will say "MINE WINS."
And this may not a good thing to "win" as stress is not good for our bodies…[well lots of stress is not good – some stress can be energizing.]
According to a few psychological theories, such as Erikson's, each age or stage has tasks to manage and how one manages those tasks may, or may not, cause stress.
A young child who has homework to do may say: " I can't wait until I am a grown-up and I have no more homework to do. Then I can play!"
A teenager [and this is a whole other culture] may be stressed out by most anything and everything.
A young adult just about to graduate from college was heard saying: " I can't wait til graduation is over. Then the most stressful part of life will be behind me."
Young adults with young children will say they are the most stressed. "We have to work, find day care or baby sitters, get the kids to their activities and still find time for ourselves and our friends. It's stressful."
Working adults with school-aged children will say they are more stressed than anyone. "We need to save more for our retirement and what if the kids need financial help as they age? We need a new car; the kids need braces; my kid wants a computer, etc."
Older adults in their 60's may say, "It's hard for us; we still worry about our kids [and maybe grandkids,] and we worry about our own housing and finances as we plan for our retirement."
And even older adults, in say their 70's 80's or even 90's, may say they are now stressed about any or all the above mentioned stressors, plus their own current or potential health issues.
So which age is the most stressed?
Probably most will say it is the age they now are! Because that is the age you are living and know best.
You can look back and see that you survived the earlier ages you thought were the most stressful at the time.

And although you might look ahead and think about your own aging – no one really plans to have a stressful future –

And – so we tend to not want to project our current stress too far into our future.

This article, a bit modified, is also available at:

Age and Stress

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About the Author

Native of NYC who moved a lot, got several degrees, and has been a lifelong writer and reader... I am interested in many things - and I write [and teach] about them - especially the human lifespan and healthy aging

Lynn Dorman, Ph.D.