Teenagers more Worried About Financial Security than the Environment

Written By Jeff Hindenach
Last updated December 11, 2020

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January 6, 2017

Simple. Thrifty. Living.

A 28-year study by a Swedish university has shown that money worries are increasingly keeping teenagers awake at night. In fact, financial stress is outweighing fears about the environment and global war. In the 1980s, climate change and global conflict caused high levels of anxiety in youngsters. They also produced countless sleepless nights for teenagers and college students. However, these concerns now pale in comparison to financial security woes – which are causing record cases of insomnia for those trying to map out their futures.

According to a recent study conducted at Karlstad University, youngsters are now 92 percent more likely to suffer sleep problems due to financial security concerns. In fact, Dr. Nanette Danielsson of Karlstad in Sweden stated that “many adolescents experience sleep troubles, and these are associated with adverse consequences.” Dr. Danielsson – who is also an industry-leading author – even pointed out the following:

Sleep disturbance was strongly associated with worries about the family’s financial situation.
Relationships between insomnia and worries about global war and environmental issues were weaker.
Financial worries and current political threats had stronger associations with sleepless nights than other domestic and global crises.

The recent facts and figures were based on Swedish research and studies. In fact, Swedish researchers have been quizzing youngsters annually for the last two decades. Based on their findings, sleep disturbance was reported by 24 percent of girls and 16 percent of boys. The studies also highlighted the experiences of more than 20,000 Swedish teenagers who were asked to complete questionnaires about living conditions and overall health.

Those who were polled were asked about the main fears and worries which keep them up at night. The choices were as follows:

  • Parents becoming unemployed.
  • Family economy issues.
  • Personal or family accidents/illnesses.
  • Bullying/harassment.
  • Nuclear war/global conflicts.
  • Domestic and international acts of terrorism.
  • Financial insecurity and uncertainty.

According to the results, 81 percent of youngsters were more likely to be worried about financial security than in 1988. Sleep disruption due to fears of environmental disasters also fell by 60 percent between the 1990s and 2011. Furthermore, many students were less concerned about nuclear war than they were about financial distress and economic worries.

The study also correlated with sleep studies based on stress and anxiety. In fact, the study was published in the journal Sleep Health, which highlighted the connections between financial worries and insomnia. In addition, researchers found a strong link between adolescent sleep issues and future mental health problems. In this day and age of global turmoil and uncertainty, the financial markets have been heavily impacted across the globe. Students wondering about how they will pay back loans – as well as afford living expenses after college – are all too common in the world we live in today.

With more teens up at night than ever before, what is the solution to the ongoing fiscal crisis? Will the burden of student loans, medical bills, and other expenses ever be lifted? According to industry experts, there is no end in sight to the financial dilemma that has and continues to plague countless youngsters from all walks of life. These issues are sadly a part of everyday life, and will even be there for generations to come.

About the Author

Jeff Hindenach

Jeff Hindenach is the co-founder of Simple. Thrifty. Living. He graduated from Bowling Green State University with a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism. He has a long history of financial journalism, with a background writing for newspapers such as the San Jose Mercury News and San Francisco Examiner, as well as writing on personal finance for The Huffington Post, New York Times, Business Insider, CNBC, Newsday and The Street. He believes in giving readers the tools they need to get out of debt.

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