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Poll: 65+ Americans the Least-Stressed Group

But APA survey shows country at "critical crossroads" when it comes to tension and health.

The American Psychological Association (APA) released its annual stress survey Tuesday and it provides no surprises here: Americans are stressed out.

What may come as a surprise? People 65 and older say they are the least stressed.

In a national online survey with Harris Interactive, 1,134 adults revealed what causes them stress. An additional 937 adults with children ages 8 to 17 were also interviewed separately.

Not surprising, the big stressors were recession-related issues — work (70 percent), money (76 percent) and the economy (65 percent). 

While money was the No. 1 concern across all generations, people ages 46 to 64 are really feeling it. Seventy-six percent of that generation reported money and job stability as leading causes of stress. And 45 percent said their stress level has increased in the last five years compared with 24 percent of people 65 and older.

More boomers say their housing situation is stressing them out  — 53 percent — compared with seniors — 39 percent. 

How are boomers dealing with it? Not well.

Although Generation Xers are more likely to develop unhealthy eating or drinking habits, about 36 percent of boomers say they use the same methods to deal with stress.

"America is at a critical crossroads when it comes to stress and our health," said psychologist Norman B. Anderson, PhD, APA's chief executive officer and executive vice president. "Year after year nearly three-quarters of Americans say they experience stress at levels that exceed what they define as healthy, putting themselves at risk for developing chronic illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes and depression."

Get the full report from the APA.

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