American Teens and Stress

by Shirley Archer, JD, MA on May 20, 2014

Mind-Body-Spirit News

Mind-body teaching professionals should consider reaching out to more teens, since mindful practices often effectively reduce stress. In 2013, the Stress in AmericaTM survey included teens for the first time (n = 1,018) and found that stress among this age group is rising, with negative consequences for both schoolwork and home life. American teens—from as young as 13 years old— reported unhealthy levels of stress, lack of certainty regarding stress management techniques, and rising levels of stress symptoms that adversely impact health.

Sources of stress for teens include pressure from school and the challenge of managing time effectively to accomplish personal and academic activities. Thirty-one percent of teens think their stress levels have increased in the past year; 34% believe their stress levels will continue to rise in the coming year.

“It is alarming that the teen stress experience is so similar to that of adults. It is even more concerning that they seem to underestimate the potential impact that stress has on their physical and mental health,” said Norman B. Anderson, PhD, American Psychological Association CEO and executive vice president, in an APA news release. “[To] break this cycle of stress and unhealthy behaviors as a nation, we need to provide teens with better support and health education at school and home, at the community level and in their interactions with health care professionals.”

The Stress in America survey is released annually by the American Psychological Association and is available at

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About the Author

Shirley Archer, JD, MA

Shirley Archer, JD, MA IDEA Author/Presenter

Shirley Archer, JD, MA, was the 2008 IDEA Fitness Instructor of the Year and is IDEA's mind-body-spirit spokesperson. She is a certified yoga and Pilates teacher and an award-winning author based in Los Angeles, California, and Zurich, Switzerland. Two of her books, The Walking Deck and The Strength and Toning Deck, are now featured as iPhone apps. Contact her at