Millennials are now the largest age demographic in our population and 1 in 3 suffers from Acute Financial Stress.

CBSNews recently published an article pointing out that millennials finally outnumber baby boomers among the American population, according to the latest population estimates.

This means financial stress in our society will continue to be an important topic, given that 1 in 4 Americans and 1 in 3 millennials suffers from Acute Financial Stress (AFS), according to a study conducted by Payoff.

1 in 4 Americans and 1 in 3 millennials suffers from Acute Financial Stress.

Of the population shift, Ann Hermes for CBSNews writes: “Millennials, defined by those born between 1981 and 1997, now number 75.4 million, a hair’s breadth past the 74.9 million baby boomers. Until this point, baby boomers, defined by those born between 1946 and 1964, have constituted the United States’ largest living generation and have carried enormous economic, political and cultural clout as a result.”

AFS Symptoms Resemble Those of PTSD

Payoff’s Chief Science Officer Dr. Galen Buckwalter, along with his Science Team, was conducting a study on how personality relates to financial behaviors when he identified a significant connection between Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and financially induced stress: the symptoms for the two are indistinguishable.

Dr. Buckwalter, who has spent years researching PTSD among members of the U.S. Military and humanitarian workers, explains, “As I analyzed our initial research on financial personality, I began to realize people were reporting on a psychological and emotional level the same symptoms I was familiar with from separate research I’ve done with PTSD.”

There’s a significant connection between Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and financially induced stress: the symptoms for the two are indistinguishable.

Payoff’s study ultimately defined 23.2% of all participants and 35.3% of millennial participants (ages 22 to 29) as meeting the total criteria for PTSD related to financial events and therefore positive for AFS.

Dr. Buckwalter says AFS is prevalent among millennials because numerous financial pressures coincide at that life stage. “Millennials have a lot on their minds,” he says. “They’re graduating, or just graduated, from college. They’re looking for jobs, moving, maybe even thinking about getting married or starting a family. The expectations run high to establish careers and really begin to fulfill themselves personally, professionally and of course, financially.”

He continues, “When you combine all of that on top of what might be a significant amount of student debt that they’re still struggling with — and wondering how they’re going to eventually get out from under it — the levels of stress these individuals confront is arguably unlike any previous generation.”

Want to read more about financial stress, its impact and how to manage it? Read our article here.

Participation Pays Off: What else do you think contributes to millennials’ financial stress?

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