Stress has been characterized as a physiological demand placed on the body when one must adapt, cope or adjust with situations (Nevid & Rathus, 2003). Longstanding research has noted that stress has an impact on both physical and mental health (APA, 2012). Recent statistics from the American Psychological Association’s 2012 Stress in America survey indicate that 39% of Americans reported that their stress had increased over the past year. More alarming, only 29% reported that they were doing an “excellent” or “very good” job at managing their stress. According to the Stress in America survey, sources of stress include money (75%), work (70%), economy (67%), relationships (58%), family responsibilities (57%), family’s health (53%), personal health (53%), job stability (49%), housing (49%), and personal safety (32%).
When examining stress among ethnic minority groups, additional burdens may exacerbate stress. It has been noted that racial and ethnic minorities have more chronic stress due to factors such as perceived discrimination, racisim, socioeconomic status, acculturation, and family stress (APA, 2012). Signs of stress include: being tired or fatigued, having difficulties concentrating, irritability or short temper, and poor appetite. This may also be combined with unhealthy coping habits such as smoking, drinking alcohol, and over or under eating. If you notice any of the above behaviors you may consider talking to a professional.
Simple ways to cope with stress:
Copyright 2012 Erlanger A. Turner, Ph.D.
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Fact Sheet: Health Disparities and Stress http://www.apa.org/topics/health-disparities/fact-sheet-stress.aspx
American Psychological Association (2012). Stress in America survey. Retrieved December 2012 from http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/stress/2011/final-2011.pdf
Stress Tip Sheet by the American Psychological Association http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2007/10/stress-tips.aspx