Stress survey highlights eight U.S. cities

by Public Relations Staff

October 23, 2008 — This year's Stress in America survey highlights eight major metropolitan areas, providing greater detail to the findings at a national level. The cities, chosen to represent a broad geographical vicinity are:

  • Atlanta

  • Chicago

  • Dallas

  • Detroit

  • Los Angeles

  • New York

  • Seattle

  • Washington, DC


Public Education Campaign (PEC) coordinators and state psychological association executive directors for the relevant states responded to media requests within each city. Respondents for the city surveys were selected from among those who have participated in Harris Interactive surveys. APA commissioned Harris Interactive to conduct the 2008 Stress in America survey.

Data was weighted to reflect the composition of the United States population aged 18 and over. Because the sample was based on those who agreed to be invited to participate in the Harris Interactive online research panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error could be calculated.

Among the city findings:

  • More workers in Atlanta say commuting has a significant impact on their stress at work than employed Americans overall (38 percent vs. 31 percent of workers nationally).

  • Chicago residents are significantly more likely to drink alcohol as a way to manage stress (36 percent vs. 18 percent nationally).

  • More than two-thirds (67 percent) of New Yorkers cite housing costs as a very significant source of stress (vs. 47 percent of adults nationally).

  • When it comes to managing their stress, more people in Dallas report that they listen to music (52 percent vs. 55 percent nationally) and spend time with friends or family (47 percent vs. 41 percent nationally).

  • When it comes to different stress management techniques, Seattle residents are more likely than Americans overall to read (54 percent vs. 44 percent) or play video games or surf the Internet (46 percent vs. 37 percent),

  • While fewer Detroit employees report being satisfied with their jobs (56 percent vs. 61 percent nationally) compared to employed Americans overall, they tend to be more willing to recommend their workplace as a good place to work (49 percent vs. 44 percent of workers nationally).

  • Nearly half of all Los Angeles workers report low stress levels at work (45 percent vs. 34 percent of workers nationally). LA workers are also less inclined than employed Americans overall to find balancing work and family life difficult (25 percent vs. 33 percent of workers nationally).

  • In contrast to Americans overall, Washington, DC area residents mention their co-workers or boss as a daily or weekly source of stress before their spouses.