Personal stressors are events or conditions that occur in a person's life that may adversely impact on the individual's or their family's health or wellbeing. A stressor may occur directly, such as personally experiencing a serious illness, or indirectly, such as having a family member with a serious illness. In some instances, personal stressors may have an ongoing impact or limit the capacity of a person, or family, to live a satisfying and productive life.
The 2010 GSS collected information on a variety of situations that people may have considered were a problem for themselves, their family member or their close friends. Types of situations included death, serious illness, mental health problems, not being able to get a job and divorce or separation. Information on the number of instances of each type of situation and the degree to which a person was affected were not collected. Financial stress is discussed separately in the Financial Stress and Income section of this publication.
61% of people aged 18 years or over in 2010 experienced at least one personal stressor during the year preceding the survey interview. The most common stressors experienced across all age groups were serious illness and the death of a family or a close friend (see graph 2.5). However, stressors varied between age groups, with people aged 18 to 24 years most commonly experiencing problems with not being able to get a job (26%), while people aged 85 years or over were more likely to experience problems related to a serious illness (27%) (table 35).
2.5 Personal stressors,
Proportion of the population