Stress in Young Adults

Stress level Among Adolescents and Young Adults is on the Rise -causes and remedies

Adolescence is a time of change and transition. All Adolescents and young adults face new situations and challenges as they strive for more independence from parents and family members. More responsibilities and new challenges add to their stress level. Even though we are not sure, there are several contributing factors. It includes genetics, brain chemistry, personality, and other biological factors. What are the other factors contributing to increased stress level? Let’s explore some of the causes.

  • High expectations and pressure to succeed. From different types of testing and a culture of achievement and a sense of accomplishment, younger generation can feel pressure to succeed in ways previous generations did not. Expectations set by the family and society is so high and challenging which the adolescent may mot be able to reach which in turn increase the stress level.
  • A Complex world that is scary ,frightening and threatening.

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    Threatening and frightening events such as massive shootings in schools and public places with resultant drills and lockdowns, terrorist attacks around the world taking many lives and other similar scary life situations increase the stress level of people especially younger generation. Even the novel corona virus spread in China is doubted as a bioweapon attack. It is common for anybody to feel afraid and nervous in public places.

  • Influence of Social media: Today’s children and teens are constantly connected to digital world and social media. It’s not surprising that their self-esteem becomes connected to responses to social media posts.

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    It’s hard for them not to compare their life and social connections to what they see others posting on social media.

  • Increased financial needs/financial instability /cost of higher education.

As the adolescents and young adults strive for more independence, they move away from supportive families which impose more pressure on them. Many begin their work careers and enter adult relationships with others. High cost of education is another important factor causing increased level of stress.

  • peer pressure: When peer pressure demands that they act in ways with which they are not comfortable can cause stress, low self-esteem, anxiety, and depression.
  • Addiction to video games and digital media: As per World Health Organization, Video game addiction is a mental health disorder. The WHO calls gaming addiction ‘a pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behavior’ so severe it ‘takes precedence over other life interests’. When a control is imposed on this behavior, it in turn affect the mental status of the person and cause stress.
  • Lack of support from family/elders : such as single parents, children from group homes, orphanages ,Low socio economic status etc. Adolescents and young adults from this background lack of social support and feelings of loneliness can increase stress and make them more vulnerable to the onset of mental health or substance use problems like depression.
  • Previous trauma history and PTSD : Individual trauma results from an event, series of events, or set of circumstances experienced by an individual as physically or emotionally harmful or life-threatening with lasting adverse effects on the individual’s functioning and mental, physical, social, emotional, or spiritual well-being.
  • Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.

Persons with intellectual and Developmental Disabilities experience negative social conditions through out the lifespan that contribute to excessive stress. this is found to be more when the person reaches adolescence and young adulthood.

  • Increased Demands at the workplace.

Negative working environment, under pay, Increased demands of the job, harassment and bullying at work etc. can increase the stress, lower productivity and have an adverse impact mental health.

These are some of the major causes of increased stress in Adolescents and young Adults.

Early Signs/Warning Signals

Be aware of the early signs of increasing stress. Sometimes they may say that they are anxious, but other times it is less clear―especially as they may not even realize it themselves. Signs can include

  1. Changes in behavior, such as irritability, Anger, Oppositional Defiant behavior etc.
  2. Recurring fears and worries about routine parts of everyday life
  3. Trouble sleeping or concentrating
  4. Dropping grades or school/job avoidance
  5. Avoiding activities, school, or social interactions
  6. Substance use or other risky behaviors
  7. Chronic physical and somatic complaints, such as fatigue, headaches, or stomachaches.

So, what can parents, teachers, and anyone else who interacts with adolescents and young adults can do?

Prevention is always better than cure. Early detection and management of increasing stress in teens and young adults is very important in preventing other mental health issues.

  1. Talk with kids about potential stressors. Try to see the world the way they do and find ways to cope.
  2. Be mindful of the expectations you set for children and teens and young adults. High expectations can help children reach their potential, but they need to be realistic ones. Not only that, remember that children and teens need time to relax, play, and be with friends—all of which are crucial for their mental and physical health. And it’s important for all of us to remember that there is more to life than achievement.
  3. Talk with them about their social media use. Help them take breaks—and help them think critically and rationally about the effect of social media on their lives. See How to Connect with Your Teen about Smart & Safe Media Use.
  4. The world is a challenging place. As parents (or anyone else who interacts with young people), you have a very important role in helping children take on new challenges and learn the resiliency skills they need to adapt in the face of adversity.
  5. Help them to build coping strategies and relaxation strategies such as deep breathing, muscle relaxation, and positive self‐talk (repeating positive or reassuring statements to oneself).
  6. Seek medical advice If you are noticing early signs of increased stress in your child or are worried that something you are seeing could be related to it,
  7. Know stress level can be controlled!
  8. With any mental issues, anything that supports general wellbeing is an important ―regular sleep, exercise, meditation, relaxation apps or yoga can be helpful.

The most important thing is to be aware of your stress level, ask questions, try to eliminate/control and ask for help if needed

Cite this page

Stress in Young Adults. (2022, Jun 06). Retrieved from

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