Self-reported stress: findings from the 1985 National Health Interview Survey.
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Self-reported stress: findings from the 1985 National Health Interview Survey.

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  • English

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      Public Health Rep
    • Description:
      The National Health Interview Survey's 1985 Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Questionnaire included questions on the amount of stress experienced in the past 2 weeks, the effect of stress on health, thoughts about seeking help for personal or emotional problems, and actual help-seeking behaviors. This report examines responses to these questions and analyzes self-reported levels of stress by sex and other respondent characteristics. In 1985, an estimated 34 million people aged 18 years and older experienced "a lot" of stress in the 2-week period preceding the interview. Women were more likely than men to report a lot of stress (23 percent versus 18 percent), and respondents 65 years of age or older were more likely than younger respondents to report "almost no" stress. An estimated 21 million people (13 percent) believed that, over the past year, stress had "a lot" of effect on their health. Seventeen percent of the population considered seeking help in the past year for personal or emotional problems from family, friends, helping professionals, or self-help groups. Sixty-nine percent of those who thought about seeking help reported that they actually did seek help. In terms of health practices, men and women who reported higher levels of stress than others of their sex also were more likely to report that they rarely or never ate breakfast, slept 6 or fewer hours per night, were physically less active than their peers, or drank more alcoholic beverages than usual in the 2 weeks prior to the survey.
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