7.2.4 Percentage of Canadian youth aged 12 to 17 years who reported that most days their lives were very stressful or had quite a bit of stress, by gender, Canada and select provinces, 2016

Males 8 7.8 8.1 10.6 7.6 9.6
Females 17.4 21.5 18.1 14.6 14.4 16.8

Source: CICH graphic created using data adapted from Statistics Canada. Table 105-0508 – Canadian health characteristics, annual estimates, by age group and sex, Canada (excluding territories) and provinces, occasional (number unless otherwise noted).

Females were much more likely to report that most days their lives were very stressful or they had quite a bit of stress.

In Canada overall, females were twice as likely to say that was the case – 17% compared to 8% of males.

In Quebec, 22% of females reported their lives were very stressful or had quite a bit of stress compared with 8% of males.

Young people have a number of stressors in their lives. As each young person is a unique person, what they each find stressful will vary. Some of the common causes of stress in youth are time pressure, relationships with their parents, worrying about the future, school work, relationships and dating, sexual identity, sexual orientation, cultural differences, friends and peer pressure and bullying/teasing. Prolonged stress can interfere with sleep, learning and can lead to depression and other mental health problems.1 Girls are more likely to experience adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and this may be related to the higher reported rates of stress.2

1Addiction and Mental Health. Alberta Health Services. Stress and Youth. https://myhealth.alberta.ca/alberta/Pages/stress-and-youth.aspx
1Y. Liu, J. Croft, D. Chapman, G. Perry, K. Greenlund, G. Zhao, V. Edwards. Relationship between adverse childhood experiences and unemployment among adults from five US states. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology. March 2013, Volume 48, Issue 3, pp 357–369.