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New Survey Finds Millennials are Most Stressed Generation

According a new survey from the American Psychological Association, the most stressed generation of adults in the nation is also the youngest.

According a new survey from the American Psychological Association, the most stressed generation of adults in the nation is also the youngest.

So-called "Millennials," defined here as American adults ages 18 to 34, reported higher stress levels than their parents' and grandparents' generations, and more Millennials said that their stress level had increased in the last year. 

These new figures are from the APA's annual report, Stress in America, which surveyed 2,020 American adults in a questionnaire conducted online by Harris Interactive in August 2012.

Generation Xers' stress level was tied with Millennials, both reporting an average level of 5.4 on a 10-point scale, but slightly fewer Gen Xers, those aged 34 to 47, said their stress increased in the past year or was causing them to lose sleep.

It doesn't take much imagination to figure out what young people might be stressing over: For one, the U.S. unemployment rate continues to creep higher, last week edging up to 7.9 percent. Some recent figures from the non-partisan group Generation Opportunity suggest the unemployment rate is even higher among 18- to 29-year-olds, at 11.5 percent, and only half of this age group believe they'll be getting Social Security.

"Most of these young people have come out of college or graduate school with horrendous student debt into a job market where there are not very many jobs," Katherine Nordal , executive director for professional practice of the APA, told "NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams." "This has put their life plans probably on hiatus; they may be postponing marriage, postponing having a family."

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