Are women more stressed in this time of financial turmoil? A new study says yes. I'm not convinced.
A survey of more than 2,500 people released last week by the American Psychological Association says economic stress is taking a greater health toll on women. The survey found that 80 percent of folks say the economy is a significant source of stress, up from 66 percent in April. Women, though, were more likely to report being stressed about money—83 percent of them compared with 78 percent of men. In her careers blog, Liz Wolgemuth says the reason is women usually have the burden of household decision making, men less money than men, and are quicker to feel a sense of powerlessness.
Another survey found the same pattern: A poll of 104 women from BettyConfidential.com found that half of the respondents are experiencing a general sense of fear and concern, while nearly 1 in 5 is suffering insomnia. One survey taker said: "I don't sleep more than four hours a night. I get headaches. I worry that my kids can't go to college, and my doctor now has me on anti-anxiety meds. (Thankfully, they are cheap!)"
On an appearance on CBS4/My 33, psychologist Kaia Calbeck women may be telling pollsters they are more stressed because they express themselves differently than men. Women tend to talk about concerns more than men. Men experiencing anxiety will say they are angry about the problem, where women will say they are worried about a particular financial concern.
But who really is more stressed? As Calbeck points out, men tend to experience stress over finances at greater level because typically they are the providers. I have to agree with her that men stress over money more than women, they just internalize it, which is much more harmful to their health.
Regardless of gender, if you've got the blues in a big way, get help. Make a financial plan for riding out the crisis. Consider talking to a professional. And, use stress as motivation to exercise. The On Women blog provides some more tips for managing money-related stress.
Do you think women are more anxious about the economy? Do you feel that financial concerns affect genders differently?