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Stress in America Caused by Money

Most of the stress felt in America is caused by money. A recent survey shows that people from low- and high-income households feel the pressures, despite the economy of the country increasing.

Alexandria Ingham, Public Slate, Feb 9, 2015

However, the average levels felt by people has decreased over the last seven years, offering some positivity to the results.

The American Psychological Association carries out an annual survey to find out how stressed people feel around the country. People are asked on a scale of one to ten to rate their levels, and then they are asked for their reasons. In the 2007 survey, the levels were found to be on an average of 6.2, with people from low- and high-income households feeling levels around the same rate. In 2014, the average levels had dropped to 4.9, but there is now a gap between high- and low-income households.

The main reason given for stress was financial. Between the two different income brackets, 54 percent of people said that money was the factor. Out of that 54 percent, 36 percent came from low-income households, and they said that their feelings were either the same or worse than last year. Parents with children under the age of 18 were among those who reported higher levels due to financial issues.

Results from the survey quickly showed that stress in America is mainly caused by money. People noted that the essentials are a major burden, especially for women. In total, 49 percent of women admitted that essentials were a common concern compared to 38 percent of men.

Part of the survey was a chance to find out how people dealt with these types of situations. It is important for people to find technique to relax. This is where the gap between high- and low-income households is also evident. Those from the lower-income brackets are more likely to use unhealthy methods of coping with situations and worries. They are more likely to drink alcohol, eat or watch TV. Those from higher-income households will find healthier methods.

Those from the lower-incomes are also more likely to put off medical help. Most admitted that they had either skipped or often considered skipping trips to the doctor because of the cost of attending. Those from higher-income households did not have this worry as much.

Money is not the only reason people feel stressed in American. Work and family responsibilities were also found to be main reasons. However, saving for retirement is a worry for many people, putting money back on the table.

The survey does show that there is a growing gap between incomes. Those who earn $50,000 or more per year find that finances are not that stressful. Those from the lower-incomes found that their average levels were at 5.2, while those from higher-income houses were at 4.7.

The higher levels are leading to issues at home. People admitted that depression and relationship problems had grown due to their feelings. The APA stated that the levels are still too high, and something needs to happen. Money problems are causing stress for most Americans, and it is time to act on these results.

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