Health and Fitness

What is stressing Gen Z out?

Adolescence and the transition into adulthood is stressful for everyone but reports on mental health issues for Gen Z in particular are higher than for any other generation. Why is Gen Z the stand-out in mental health statistics, and what does this mean for the future?

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Sources of stress

In the US, school shootings are a significant source of stress for 75% of Gen Z, whether the threat of a shooting or the trauma of having experienced one. This is an extreme case, of course, but the statistic speaks for itself when trying to explain the stress of an entire generation.

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Gen Z is also more stressed by issues in the news than adults, with topics such as deportation and global conflicts resonating more (57% of Gen Z and 47% of all adults). Interestingly, most of the sources of stress in the news are events that feel out of the control of young people.

Perhaps the most interesting figure is regarding mental health reporting, with 27% of Gen Z being more likely to report their mental health as ‘poor’ or ‘fair’, as opposed to Gen X (13%) and Millennials (15%). This could indicate stronger issues for the generation or could be a result of increased awareness and acceptance of mental health issues.

The future

With figures constantly on the rise, there is more stress on young people and those providing help for them. Careers in mental health services are expected to become more common, with no shortage of jobs anytime soon.

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Stress levels seem likely to continue rising, with an interesting finding of previous stress reports being an increase in tolerance. Using a one to ten scale for stress, with one being little or no stress and ten being a great deal of stress, the average level of stress deemed healthy increased from 3.7 to 3.9 between 2017 and 2018. This begs the question of whether the perceived ‘healthy’ level of stress will continue to rise.

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