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1318.3 - Qld Stats, Dec 2007  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 21/12/2007   
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GENERAL SOCIAL SURVEY, 2006: PERSONAL STRESSORS, QUEENSLAND

INTRODUCTION
PERSONAL STRESSORS
SELECTED COMPARISONS
STRESSORS BY SELF-ASSESSED HEALTH STATUS
STRESSORS BY AGE AND SEX
STRESSORS BY HOUSEHOLD TENURE AND LANDLORD TYPE
STRESSORS BY LABOUR FORCE STATUS
FURTHER INFORMATION


INTRODUCTION

The September issue of Qld Stats presented the first in a series of articles on the results for Queensland from the General Social Survey (GSS) conducted in 2006. That article provided general information about the survey and detailed two topics - Characteristics of Family and Community Support and Crime and Safety.

This issue of Qld Stats presents an analysis of the personal stressors that many Queenslanders experience. Future articles will focus on other results from the GSS 2006 and will be featured in Qld Stats released in 2008.

PERSONAL STRESSORS

Personal stressors are events or conditions that may adversely impact on an individual's life or on the collective life of a family. A stressor may impact on an individual through direct experience, such as suffering from a serious illness or being unable to find a job, or indirectly through a family member's illness or inability to find a job, or the divorce or separation of parents. In some instances, the adverse impact of personal stressors may have an ongoing impact on a person's capacity to live a satisfying and productive life, or the capacity for a family to live as a fully functioning family unit.

The 2006 General Social Survey (GSS) found 64% of Queensland adults experienced at least one personal stressor in the 12 months prior to being surveyed, an increase of 5 percentage points since 2002. Across Australia, the rate was 59% for 2006 and 57% in 2002.

Information was collected by the GSS on several types of stressors that people considered had been a problem to themselves, their family and close friends in the 12 months prior to being surveyed. No information was collected on the number of instances for each type of stressful situation experienced, nor on the degree to which the person was affected. Please note that financial stress is dealt with separately as a household characteristic by the GSS and is planned to be the topic of a future Qld Stats article.
SELECTED COMPARISONS

Comparing the results for Queensland and Australia in the 2006 GSS, higher rates were recorded for Queensland adults than nationally for every type of personal stressor listed. Comparing the Queensland results across surveys, greater proportions were recorded in 2006 than in 2002 for almost every type of personal stressor with the exception of Not able to get a job (16% in 2002 and 14% in 2006).

Serious illness was the personal stressor reported by the highest proportion of adults. In the 2006 GSS, 26% of Queensland adults reported experiencing this personal stressor in the 12 months prior to being surveyed, up 4 percentage points since 2002 and 3 percentage points greater than the 2006 national rate. For Queensland in 2006, Death of a family member or close friend was the personal stressor reported by the second highest proportion of adults, an increase of 3 percentage points since 2002.

SELECTED TYPES OF PERSONAL STRESSORS(a) EXPERIENCED(b)

Queensland
Australia
2002
2006
2006

PER CENT

Serious illness
21.6
25.6
22.8
Serious accident
5.2
6.5
5.2
Mental illness
7.6
12.2
10.6
Serious disability
5.7
7.0
6.7
Death of a family member or close friend
19.4
22.4
21.1
Divorce or separation
13.2
14.0
11.4
Not able to get a job
15.7
14.4
13.0
Involuntary loss of job
6.0
6.7
5.5
Alcohol or drug related problem
8.3
11.2
8.6
Abuse or violent crime
3.3
4.1
3.3
Trouble with the police
3.8
5.0
3.9
No stressors
41.3
35.6
40.6

PERSONS ('000)

All persons aged 18 years and over
2,703
2,956
15,307

(a) Events or circumstances which the selected person considers had been a problem for themselves or someone close to them.
(b) In the 12 months prior to being surveyed.

Source: General Social Survey, Queensland (cat. no. 4159.3.55.001); General Social Survey: Summary Results, Australia, 2006 (cat. no. 4159.0).
STRESSORS BY SELF-ASSESSED HEALTH STATUS

The proportion of Queensland adults who reported experiencing no stressors in the 12 months prior to being surveyed fell from 41% in 2002 to 36% in 2006. The national rate in 2006 was 41%. Across the categories of self-assessed health status, the proportion of Queensland adults in 2006 who did not experience any personal stressors decreased from 44% for those who reported excellent health to 20% for those who reported their health was poor. The corresponding national rates were 49% and 22%.


EXPERIENCED AT LEAST ONE PERSONAL STRESSOR(a)(b)
by Self-assessed Health Status – Queensland and Australia, 2006
Experienced at least one personal stressor(a)(b) by self-assessed health status, Queensland and Australia, 2006
Source: General Social Survey, Queensland, 2006 (cat. no. 4159.3.55.001);
General Social Survey: Summary Results, Australia, 2006 (cat. no. 4159.0).

STRESSORS BY AGE AND SEX

The 2006 GSS found a greater proportion of Queensland women (68%) than men (61%) experienced at least one personal stressor in the 12 months prior to being surveyed. The only age group which recorded a greater proportion of men than women experiencing personal stressors was the 25–34 years age group (women 61% and men 67%). The proportions for men showed a general decrease from the youngest to oldest age groups, whereas for women the proportions fluctuated. The smallest difference between the sexes was recorded by the 18–24 years age group (women 72% and men 71%) and the largest difference was recorded by those aged 45–54 years (women 72% and men 59%). The 65 years and over age group recorded the lowest proportions for both women (56%) and men (45%).

EXPERIENCED AT LEAST ONE PERSONAL STRESSOR(a)(b)
by Age and Sex, Queensland – 2006

Experienced at least on personal stressor(a)(b) by age and sex, Queensland, 2006
Source: General Social Survey, Queensland, 2006 (cat. no. 4159.3.55.001).


STRESSORS BY HOUSEHOLD TENURE AND LANDLORD TYPE

Comparing the state and national results from the 2006 GSS for personal stressors by household tenure and landlord type, higher proportions of Queenslanders reported personal stressors than the national rate. The exception was for those renting from a state or territory housing authority where 65% of Queensland adults reported experiencing at least one personal stressor compared with 68% of Australian adults. The lowest proportions for both were recorded for owners without a mortgage (Queensland 58% and Australia 55%). The highest proportion of Queensland adults who experienced a personal stressor was recorded for those renting from a private landlord (69%), 5 percentage points higher than the national average. Sixty-seven per cent of Queensland owners with a mortgage experienced at least one personal stressor compared with 60% nationally.

EXPERIENCED AT LEAST ONE PERSONAL STRESSOR(a)(b)
by Household Tenure and Landlord Type – Queensland and Australia, 2006
Experienced at least one personal stressor(a)(b) by household tenure and landlord type, Queensland and Australia, 2006
Source: General Social Survey, Queensland, 2006 (cat. no. 4159.3.55.001);
General Social Survey: Summary Results, Australia, 2006 (cat. no. 4159.0).
STRESSORS BY LABOUR FORCE STATUS

Comparing the 2002 and 2006 GSS results for Queensland by labour force status, unemployed persons recorded the highest proportion, for both surveys, of adults who reported experiencing at least one personal stressor. This proportion fell from 80% in 2002 to 73% in 2006. Those who were retired from work recorded the lowest proportion having at least one stressor for both surveys, although the rate rose from 54% in 2002 to 59% in 2006. The proportions of employed adults who reported experiencing personal stressors also increased between surveys. The proportion of full-time employed adults who experienced at least one personal stressor increased from 55% in 2002 to 64% in 2006, while the proportion of those employed part-time increased from 63% to 69%.

EXPERIENCED AT LEAST ONE PERSONAL STRESSOR(a)(b)
by Labour Force Status, – Queensland, 2002 and 2006
Experienced at least one personal stressor(a)(b) by labour force status, Queensland, 2002 and 2006
Source: General Social Survey, Queensland (cat. no. 4159.3.55.001).

FURTHER INFORMATION

More detailed information can be found on the ABS website by going to General Social Survey, Queensland (cat. no. 4159.3.55.001) and General Social Survey: Summary Results, Australia, 2006 (cat. no. 4159.0).




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