The American Psychological Association (APA) conducted its 12th annual Stress in AmericaTM survey in August 2018 to understand what causes stress in Americans’ lives and their strategies for coping with stress. The Harris Poll conducted the survey online on behalf of APA among 3,458 respondents ages 18+ living in the United States. In addition to the main sample, interviews among teens ages 15 to 17 (n=300) were collected.
Gun violence, family separations and high-profile sexual assaults have dominated the news over the past year. With teens and young adults becoming more vocal about these controversies, APA used this year’s survey as an opportunity to evaluate the level of stress among members of Generation Z.
This report provides insight into Gen Z, those between the ages of 15 and 21.
Our 2018 survey results show that high-profile issues, such as sexual harassment and gun violence, are significant stressors for Gen Z. America’s youngest adults are most likely of all generations to report poor mental health, and Gen Z is also significantly more likely to seek professional help for mental health issues.
- Money and work consistently top the list of stressors for adults
overall, and both are common stressors for Gen Z as well. More
than eight in 10 (81 percent) of Gen Zs between the ages of 18
and 21 report money as a source of significant stress, with nearly
as many (77 percent) saying the same about work.2
- Nearly two in three Gen Zs ages 15 to 17 (63 percent) report their families not
having enough money is a significant source of stress.
- For more than three in 10 Gen Zs, personal debt (33 percent) and housing
instability (31 percent) are a significant source of stress, while
nearly three in 10 (28 percent) cite hunger or getting enough to eat.
- The opioid crisis is a pressing concern in the U.S., and survey
results show that Gen Z feels the impact of this crisis, with nearly
two in five (39 percent) reporting that the opioid and heroin epidemic
is a significant source of stress, nearly the same percentage
as for adults overall (42 percent).
- Half of Gen Zs (50 percent) reported that at least one person they
know has been told they are addicted to or have a problem with
drugs and alcohol. A much smaller number (7 percent) say they
have been told the same about themselves