American Psychological Association Offers Strategies to Manage Stress and Promote Health during Holidays
WASHINGTON, Dec. 4 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As reports about the extent of the recession in the United States are released this week, a new poll from the American Psychological Association (APA) finds that more than eight out of 10 anticipate a stressful holiday season and that the economic crisis is impacting women and families most.
While Americans continue to report financial issues related to money (82 percent), the economy (82 percent) and work (69 percent) as sources of stress, households with children are more likely to report money (88 percent v. 80 percent without children) and work (74 percent v. 67 percent without) as significant stressors this holiday season.
Women are significantly more likely than men to worry about having enough money to purchase gifts (46 v. 35 percent). Families with children are more likely to report anticipating stress this holiday season than those without, with more than half anticipating stress caused by not having the money to purchase gifts (51 v. 37 percent without children), and one-third expecting stress due to pressure to buy gifts (32 v. 25 percent) or too many things to do (34 v. 27 percent). These stressors may explain why many families with children (30 percent v. 21 percent without) report that they expect to experience more stress this holiday season than last year.
"Many people feel overwhelmed during the holiday season, and given the current economic crisis, the pressures can be extraordinary," says psychologist Katherine Nordal, Ph.D., APA's executive director for professional practice. "These unrelenting financial stressors can become a real health issue for women who continue to report stress at dangerously high levels and for families who are in an important position of teaching stress-management strategies to children."
The combination of many potentially overwhelming stressors that are added to day-to-day responsibilities during the holidays can be a concern, but regardless, nearly half of adults (49 percent) in the U.S. say that the stress of the holidays will not interfere with their ability to enjoy them.
"It is important to put things in perspective and realize that materialism is not the focus of your holiday. The holidays are about more than presents. This is a time to celebrate family and friends and to take time to relax and enjoy each other," says Dr. Nordal.
APA suggests the following strategies to help Americans prevent holiday stress and enjoy a worry-free season:
The holiday stress survey is part of APA's Mind/Body Health public education campaign. For information on the survey or for more strategies to identify unhealthy stress, visit www.apahelpcenter.org.
This 2008 holiday stress research was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of the American Psychological Association between November 20-24, 2008 among 2,821 U.S. adults, 18 and older. No estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated; a full methodology is available.
The American Psychological Association (APA), in Washington, DC, is the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States and is the world's largest association of psychologists. APA's membership includes more than 148,000 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students. Through its divisions in 54 subfields of psychology and affiliations with 60 state, territorial and Canadian provincial associations, APA works to advance psychology as a science, as a profession and as a means of promoting human welfare.
|SOURCE American Psychological Association|
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