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4159.8.55.001 - General Social Survey, Australian Capital Territory, 2002  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 31/08/2004   
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  • Canberra's young men reported the highest personal stress in ACT (Media Release)

Canberra's young men reported the highest personal stress in ACT


A new analysis on personal stress in the ACT, based on previously released Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data, shows that young men aged 25-34 suffered the most personal stressors of Canberrans in 2002.

Personal stressors include serious illness; death; inability to get a job; divorce or separation; mental illness; alcohol or drug problems; serious disability; abuse or violent crime; trouble with police; gambling problem and witnessing violence.

Overall, 62% of Canberrans experienced at least one personal stressor (9% higher than the national average). For Canberra's young men aged 25-34 it was 69%.

Despite young men suffering the highest rate of stressors, overall more women suffered personal stressors than men. In the ACT, 65% of women experienced a personal stressor, while for men the rate was 59%.

"Serious illness of self or someone close" and "death of someone close", was the most widely reported stressor (both reported by 21% of Canberrans).

Other frequent stressors experienced by the respondent or affecting someone close to them included: the inability to get a job (16%); divorce or separation (13%); mental illness and alcohol or drug related problems (both 11%).

ABS Regional Director, Tracy Stewart, said that the most common stressor for young people under 25 was the inability to get a job.

"The fact that one in four young people reported an inability to get a job as a stressor in 2002 shows that entering the workforce is an issue for this age group," she said.

Young people also suffered higher rates of crime and violence stressors, including being victims of physical violence and break-ins.

Media Note: This data comes from the 2002 General Social Survey (cat. no. 4159.8.55.001) released on January 21, 2004.


Further information
PERSONAL STRESS IN THE ACT
Personal stressors are events or conditions that may adversely impact on an individual's life, or the collective lives of families. A stressor may impact on an individual through a direct experience, such as serious illness or unemployment, or indirectly through a family member's illness or unemployment, or by the divorce or separation of parents.

The following information was collected from the 2002 General Social Survey. The survey collected data on personal and household characteristics for people aged 18 years and over. Data was collected on the type(s) of stressor(s) experienced personally or by someone close in the last 12 months. The data was first released on 21st January 2004, and this article further analyses the dataset.

GENERAL PERSONAL CHARACTERISTICS
Sixty-two percent of all persons within the ACT in 2002 experienced at least one stressor. This was the highest figure of any state or territory with Western Australia and the Northern Territory both recording 60%. It was also above the national figure of 57%.

High stress age groups varied between males and females. The age group for males with the highest reported stress was 25-34 years at 69%. The highest stress periods for females were in the 18-24 year age group, at 71%, followed by 25-34 year age group at 70%. Overall the statistics show that females were generally more stressed than their male counterparts, at 65% and 59% respectively.

The most common types of stressors were serious illness of self or someone close and death of someone close (both reported by 21% of population in ACT). Other frequent stressors experienced by the respondent or affecting someone close to them included: the inability to get a job (16%); divorce or separation (13%); mental illness and alcohol or drug related problems (both 11%).

Serious illness of self or someone close were also the most common personal stressors in all other states and territories with figures between 20-21%. Nationally the most reported personal stress was serious illness of self or someone close (21%).
Graph - types of stressors experienced personally or by someone close in last 12 months


Serious illness was reported as the most common personal stressor for all age groups except 18-24 years and 25-34 years. Those aged 65 years and over reported the highest proportion with serious illness as their main stress (26%), followed by those aged 45-54 years (24%). For all those aged 35 years and over, death of family member or close friend was the second most common stressor.

For those aged 18-24 years, the most common personal stressor reported was inability to get a job, reported by 25%. This was followed by death of family member or close friend (22%). For those aged 25-34 years death of family member or close friend was the most common stressor (23%), followed by serious illness (21%).

HEALTH STRESSORS
Almost two-thirds of ACT residents (65%) considered themselves to be in very good or excellent health. A further 24% considered themselves to be in good health, with the remaining 11% reporting they had fair or poor health.

The proportion of people who assessed their health as excellent/very good or better, was highest in the 18-24 year age group (80%). This proportion fell as age increased, to 34% in the 65 years or over age group.

The proportion of persons reporting fair or poor health generally increased with age, from 4% of those aged 18-24 years and 25-34 years, to 28% of those aged 65 years or over.

CRIME/VIOLENCE
The use or threat of violence against a person, and break-ins to homes, garages or sheds was another personal stressor measured. For all persons aged 18 years or over, 8% reported being victims of physical or threatened violence in the last 12 months. Also, 12% reported being victims of actual or attempted break-ins during the same period.

Men in the 18-24 year-old range were the most likely to have been a victim of physical or threatened violence (22%), followed by women in the same age group (11%). Women in the 18-24 year age group were also most likely to be victims of actual or attempted break-ins (17%), followed by males in the 25-34 year age group (16%).

Nationally, 21% of males aged 18-24 were likely to be the victim of physical or threatened violence, as were 10% of women.

VICTIMS OF VIOLENCE AND BREAK-INS
18-24
years
25-34
years
35-44
years
45-54
years
55-64
years
65 years
and over
Victim of physical or threatened violence
Males
21.5
8.5
8.1
8.7
4.3
n.a.
Females
11.0
8.9
6.8
7.4
2.8
0.9
Victim of actual or attempted break-in
Males
10.4
15.7
13.7
12.8
9.9
2.4
Females
16.9
9.4
11.9
14.5
8.9
8.1



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