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Monday, 16 October, 2000, 13:21 GMT 14:21 UK
Women more at risk of stress
Mother and baby
Working mums are most likely to suffer stress
Women of all generations, from working mums to grandmothers, are more stressed out than men.

A survey of more than 6,000 people across the UK has found that 63% of women suffer from stress compared to just 51% of men.

However, stress levels among working mums are even higher with 67% saying they are under pressure.

Even later in life, women are more likely to suffer stress than men. More than half of grandmothers who look after children say they suffer from stress whereas just 38% of grandfathers say the same.

Stress has become so much part of our lives

Janet Wilkinson, Lloyds TSB

The survey, carried out Lloyds TSB, reveals that "job junkies" - ambitious young people striving for a successful career - find themselves under pressure.

But again, it is women who feel the pressure more with 64% suffering from stress compared to 55% of men.

The authors of the survey suggest that the differences in stress levels between men and women may be due to the fact that they may have greater aspirations.

They said women come under pressure when they try to pursue these ambitions with the job of managing a family, which continues even when they become grandmothers.

Parental pressures

Some of those who responded to the survey said the pressures of parenting, itself, were stressful. Many said they worried about their children.

They spoke of demands on their children, from excessive amounts of homework, exams and the fact that their off-spring were becoming more demanding.

The survey is part of Lloyds TSB's LifeIndex Survey, which assesses how people are feeling or getting on their lives every three months.

It found differences in stress levels across the UK. Wales and Scotland were found to have Britain's happiest communities with the lowest stress levels, while workers in Wales enjoyed their jobs more than those living in any other region.

People living in London and the South East were found to be the most stressed. Janet Wilkinson, head of customer understanding at Lloyds TSB, said: "Stress has become so much part of our lives.

"There's a sneaking suspicion among respondents that a lot of their stress is self-induced, that their aspirations are causing them to over-reach for the unobtainable that they see in magazines, on the TV and in adverts.

"People genuinely feel that their life should be about more than just material possessions, but should also embrace a rewarding job, a fulfilling relationship and a happy family - wanting it all is stressing us out."

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See also:

15 Sep 00 | Health
Stress 'makes child asthma worse'
08 Sep 00 | Health
Pregnancy stress 'causes defects'
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