Sandwich Generation Moms Feeling the Squeeze

APA offers tips for stressed-out mothers caring for children, parents

WASHINGTON, May 5 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Mothers in the "sandwich generation," ages 35-54, feel more stress than any other age group as they balance the demanding, delicate acts of caring for growing children and their aging parents, according to the American Psychological Association's 2007 Stress in America survey. And while nearly two-in-five men and women in this age group feel overextended, the survey reveals that more women than men report experiencing extreme stress and say they manage their stress poorly.

Nearly 40 percent of those aged 35 -54 report extreme levels of stress (compared to 29 percent of 18-34 years old and 25 percent of those older than 55). This stress takes a toll not only on personal relationships -- 83 percent say relationships with their spouse, children and family is the top source of their stress -- but also on their own well-being as they struggle to take better care of themselves. As Mother's Day approaches, it's a good time for moms and their families to recognize the importance of addressing stress and managing it in healthy ways.

"It's not surprising that so many people in that age group are experiencing stress," says psychologist Katherine Nordal, Ph.D., executive director for professional practice, American Psychological Association. "The worry of your parents' health, and your children's well-being as well as the financial concern of putting kids through college and saving for your own retirement is a lot to handle."

APA offers these strategies to help mothers manage stress:

"Mothers often put their family needs first and neglect their own," says Nordal. "Mothers need to manage their stress for their own health benefits, and also for those around them. How a mother manages stress is often a model for the rest of the family. Other family members will imitate her unhealthy behavior."

To learn more about stress and mind/body health, visit the American Psychological Association's Help Center at www.apahelpcenter.org.

The American Psychological Association (APA), in Washington, DC, is the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States and is the world's largest association of psychologists. APA's membership includes more than 148,000 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students. Through its divisions in 54 subfields of psychology and affiliations with 60 state, territorial and Canadian provincial associations, APA works to advance psychology as a science, as a profession and as a means of promoting human welfare.

SOURCE American Psychological Association

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