Big Think (USA): why generation x is experiencing a lot of stress compared to other generations?

— A study conducted at the University of Pennsylvania, showed that middle-aged people experience more stress than other age groups.

— If the majority of generations, the level of stress in comparison with 1990 has increased on average by 2% in people aged 45 to 64 years it increased by 19%.

— Among the reasons — concerns for children, fear of unemployment and the influx of information.

As a child I always walked to and from school on foot, no matter was it snowy winter or hot June. The road took me three to five hours. The kids today they don’t know what suffering is.

Of course, all this is true, but I remember how my grandfather used to say so. He probably was joking too, because the irony runs in the family. But there is a strong idea that with each generation life is getting easier. However, today, when we are dealing with the highest unemployment rate since the great depression, it is clear that this is not true.

In a new study by the University of Pennsylvania States that have long been suspected of my peers from generation x: middle-aged people today is really difficult compared to the Golden era of the 90s. Kurt Cobain even 30 years ago, perfectly captured the essence of our powerful stress. We still have to deal with the cultural and economic trends that intensify the stress in our lives.

Comparing the first decade of the 21st century with 90-mi years of the last century, scientists have identified a small increase in the level of stress in all age groups. Respondents in the age category 45-64 years, this growth was much greater. On average, people reported a 2% increase of all stress factors, says Professor the Pennsylvania state University David Almeida (David Almeida) exploring issues of human development and family. This corresponds to an additional week of stress every year. Quite a different story for generation x and the people of the postwar generation younger.

“We were struck by the fact that middle-aged people talking about a much larger number of stress factors. In 2010 stress was 19% more than in 1990. This corresponds to an additional 64 days of stress in a year.”

In this study, data were collected a decade ago. But in 2019 the social network LinkedIn conducted their own investigation and found out that generation x is experiencing a much greater load than the surrounding age groups. The study authors identified five key stress factors: the balance of personal life and work, and confidence in their employment, the meaning of life, working conditions and the availability of those funds, which allow people to do their job.

Based on war memes between two thousandth generation and the postwar generation was a strange dynamics taking into account the fact that the first earn 20% less the second, though more educated. Generation x is somewhere in the middle. They earn less than their parents (relatively), but more of their children. Not everything in life is about money, it is so; but they are an important factor when we are talking about the level of stress. The most serious stress factors in modern life are dissatisfaction with work, excessive work, insufficient payment, and also the uncertainty that you will save his job.

As part of his research team at Penn state collected data on 1 499 adults for 1995 and compared them with the responses of 782 in 2012. Each participant is asked questions daily for eight consecutive days. It was the questions about stress factors in life: problems of relationships and friendship, finances, challenges at work, prospects for the future. The researchers evaluated the impact that these stressors have on other aspects of life of the respondents.

Almeida was expected that the level of dissatisfaction is higher among young people. He was surprised to find that most affects middle-aged people. However, he believes that it is not only them. Part of the stress caused by parents ‘ concern for their children because they find it difficult in the labour market.

And easier they will not. As recently stated by a member of Congress from Washington state Pramila Jayapal (Pramila Jayapal), we talk about the “return to normal”, though many Americans for decades didn’t know what is normal. We need to talk about what our economy will look a year from now, what will be the jobs in the labor market, what companies we have to say goodbye, and to plan their actions for the eradication of income inequality. But instead, we are forcing low-wage workers to return to their no guaranteed jobs in the hope that everything is back to normal, although they never knew the normal state of Affairs.

Almeida also suggests that the rapid pace of change due to new technologies will enhance the stress, especially among generation X. This whole “market optimization” to inhibit us because everyone feels that constantly lags behind. By 2026, the total cost of the additives that supposedly enhance creativity, strengthen memory and improve the efficiency of the brain, may rise to 5.32 billion dollars. With such permanent protrusion of “optimization” at work and in life fear to lag behind and be behind increases the level of stress.

The daily flow of information, which often creates “smartpassiveincome” drains the brain and promote cognitive abilities. Almeida suspects that this is another factor that has a negative impact today on people of middle age. Generation x childhood was predominated by the technologies, but recognizes that they play an important role in today’s labour market. And to live between two fires is difficult.

Stress increases at all. 28% of working parents who currently are sitting at home, experiencing “stress-induced mental health disorder”. The world economic forum believes that the second half of 2020 will be even worse in terms of stress and depression. In the coming months the average two-percent rate for most age groups may increase.

Here, generation x will again be ahead like we were born in order to cope with the stress. Another question is how we will be strong.