Age Affects How We Predict & Respond To Stress

Stress can strike anywhere– at home, at work, on your commute, etc. Now researchers from North Carolina State University have found older adults are better than younger adults at anticipating stressful events at home, but older adults are not as good at using those predictions to reduce the adverse impacts of the stress. Home stress can vary, but might mean being overwhelmed by home maintenance tasks or having too much to do around the house. Study leader Shevaun Neupert, an associate professor of psychology, says when participants under age 36 predicted stress at home the stressors had less of an impact on their moods, but the same was not found for respondents over age 60 in the same situation. Study leader Shevaun Neupert, an associate professor of psychology, explains,”This suggests that younger adults are doing a better job of using some anticipatory coping skills to blunt the impact of home stressors – though there was one clear exception.” That one exception was when young adults got stuck in so-called ‘stagnant deliberation,’ which is when one tries to solve a problem but feels like they’re not making progress.