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Are You Aging From Stress? Fresh Studies On The Impact Of Stress On Young Adult



Are You Aging From Stress Fresh Studies On The Impact Of Stress On Young Adult

According to a recent study, when things get rough, especially when they feel like they have less control over their lives, younger adults may feel and look older.

Professor of psychology at North Carolina State University Shevaun Neupert says that stress causes older people to feel either older or their actual age. Nonetheless, not much study has been done on this topic in younger adults—that is, those in their teens, 20s, and 30s. Gaining insight into this occurrence across age groups may facilitate the development of strategies to protect physical and mental health.

With an average age of roughly 20, the 107 participants in the study ranged in age from 18 to 36. Over the course of eight days, they completed baseline and more in-depth daily surveys. These questionnaires were designed to measure their degree of stress on a daily basis, their sense of control over their lives, and their age as it appeared on a daily basis.

The first discovery revealed that those who experienced higher levels of stress on typical days also appeared and felt older. This effect only materialized when they also perceived a decrease in their typical level of control over their lives.

Most importantly, each participant’s typical levels of stress and control were contrasted with the levels measured. If a person’s level of stress was higher than usual, the effect was noted even if they reported relatively low levels of stress. In a similar vein, the impact persisted if an individual thought they had somewhat more control than usual, but not as much as usual.

Neupert emphasizes that young individuals are also impacted by this phenomenon, in addition to elderly adults. Furthermore, long-term negative consequences of chronic stress can be observed, and as younger generations are facing historically high levels of stress, it is imperative to regularly monitor their physical and mental health as it relates to stress.

Developing measures to promote young adults’ well-being as they enter adulthood requires an understanding of how stress affects their perceptions of age.


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