Teen Girls Stressed Out More Often Than Boys --Mediamark Research Data Cite Weight, Physical Appearance as Factors-- Contacts: Anne Marie Kelly, V.P. Marketing & Strategic Planning, Mediamark Research Inc.: 212- 884-9204 Steve Ellwanger, Press Counsel Group: 203-291-6986 New York, December 9, 2003 -- Teenage girls are nearly 40% more likely than boys to say they experience stress on a regular basis, according to the latest Teenmark® data from Mediamark Research Inc. Girls are far more likely than boys to cite their weight/body image and overall appearance as stress-inducing factors, although both genders agree that having too much schoolwork is the leading cause of stress in their lives. Asked how often they feel “stressed out,” 59% of female teens responded “all the time” or “sometimes,” compared with 42% of male teens. Pointing the source of their stress, girls are 146% more likely to cite their weight/body image, and 101% more likely to cite their overall appearance. The survey was conducted among teen residents in households interviewed for Mediamark's Survey of the American Consumer. Questionnaires were mailed to eligible persons in those households from April through July 2002 and again from April through July 2003. 4,577 youths, aged 12-19, responded. “While it’s not surprising that the pressures of school and girls’ self-image weigh heavily on the youth population, only about one-quarter of the respondents cited their parents’ relationships as a stress factor,” said Anne Marie Kelly, Vice President of Marketing and Strategic Planning at MRI. “Despite living in a time when divorce is so prevalent, there are many concerns that cause teens anxiety other than how their parents are getting along.” Ranking last on the list of stress-related questions in the Teenmark® survey was “issues with your own health,” with only 13% of respondents citing it as a cause of stress. Percent Agree % Girls More/Less Likely Total Boys Girls than Boys “How often do you feel stressed out”? All the Time/Sometimes 50 42 59 39% Once in a While or Rarely 41 46 36 -21% Stressed Never 2 4 1 -75% Why Stressed A lot of school work 67 63 72 15% Not enough sleep 49 42 57 35% Not enough money 44 40 48 21% Not enough time in the day 42 35 49 40% Relationships with your friends 39 28 50 77% Relationships with your parents 37 30 45 50% Relationships with your 36 30 42 40% siblings/other family Juggling too many responsibilities 35 30 40 35% Your weight/body image 32 19 46 146% Relationships with your 29 24 33 36% boyfriend/girlfriend Your overall appearance 25 17 33 101% Your parents' relationship 24 20 27 32% Other people's health issues 15 10 20 97% Issues with your own health 13 8 20 152% Source: Mediamark Research Inc. (MRI) 2003 Teenmark® Study ******** MRI is the country’s leading provider of multimedia consumer research data. The company releases data from its Survey of the American Consumer (adults 18+) twice yearly, in the spring and fall. Teenmark® is released once a year. Since 1979, MRI has continuously surveyed consumers to track their exposure to advertising media and their use of advertised goods and services. These data have become the basic media-planning tool for the majority of the media plans that are created each year by national advertisers and their agencies. The company conducts 26,000 in-home interviews each year, the biggest survey of its kind. MRI is part of NOP World, a wholly owned subsidiary of United Business Media, a U.K.- based news and information company.
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