APA poll find economic stress taking a toll on men

by Public Relations Staff

May 28, 2009 — Economic pressures are having an increasing impact on men aged 35 to 54, according to an April 2009 survey by the American Psychological Association (APA). Growing numbers of middle-aged men are reporting significant stress related to work, money, housing costs and job stability.

Among the 45-54 age group, 81 percent of employed men reported work as a significant source of stress, compared with just 68 percent of employed women. While the number of women aged 45-54 reporting stress related to money has dropped since APA conducted a poll in September 2008 (PDF, 146 KB) (from 83 percent to 78 percent), the percentage of men in this age group reporting stress related to money rose considerably during that same period (from 78 percent in September 2008 to 86 percent in April 2009).

Among 35-44 year olds, the number of men reporting money as a significant stressor also surpassed that of women (88 percent versus 77 percent). Job stability is a growing concern among males in this age group, with 71 percent reporting this as a significant stressor — a jump from 57 percent last September. Almost two-thirds of men age 35-44 (65 percent) reported stress related to housing costs.

Impact of employer actions

The survey also found that actions taken by employers to reduce costs were having a far-reaching impact on Americans.

Nearly seven in ten (68 percent) employed survey respondents reported that their employers have taken steps such as putting a freeze on hiring or wages, laying off staff, reducing work hours, benefits or pay, requiring unpaid days off or increasing work hours in the past year as a result of the weak economy. Not surprisingly, people who have been hit with multiple employer-driven cost-cutting actions are most likely to report stress related to economic factors. For example, 86 percent facing four or more actions reported work as a significant stressor versus 63 percent whose employers have not taken any action as a result of the economy.

And regardless of whether or not they have already been affected by layoffs, 43 percent reported that they are concerned about layoffs impacting their household.

Among the materials available online at APA HelpCenter to help people manage their stress related to the economic turndown are:

Note about methodology: This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of the American Psychological Association between April 8-10, 2009 among 2,160 US adults aged 18 and older. Results were weighted as needed for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income to be representative of the US population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents' propensity to be online. No estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated; a full methodology is available.