Causes for awareness

Stress is an enervating issue for both genders, but women continue to report higher levels

Women and Stress

In January 2012, APA released Stress in America: Our Health at Risk. While there has been a slight decrease in the average level of stress reported by Americans since 2010, the reported level of stress has actually increased over the past 1-5 years based on data from the survey.

The effects of stress on both women and men’s physical and mental health are sweeping. Historically, women report higher levels of stress than men and, according to the survey results, it held true in 2011. On a scale of 1 to 10 where 1 is little or no stress and 10 is a great deal of stress, women reported 5.4 as their average level of stress compared to men at 4.8 and they are more likely to believe it’s affecting their physical and mental health. Additionally, 88 percent of women reportedly put more emphasis on the need to manage their stress and are more likely to employ strategies to make lifestyle and behavior changes, thus women are less likely to report being diagnosed with chronic illnesses that are often linked to high levels of stress. (Martin, 2012)

Studies have shown mothers experience higher levels of stress than fathers (Arendell, 2000), consider these ideas for making Mother’s Day (and every day) stress-free on May 13.


Martin, S. (2012). Our health at risk. APA Monitor®, 43, 18

Arendell, T. (2000). Conceiving and Investigating Motherhood: The Decade's Scholarship. Journal of Marriage and the Family 62, 1192–1207.