Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Young women-Psychology, Young women-Social conditions, Stress (Psychology)-Economic aspects, Stress (Psychology)-Social aspects, Social status-Psychological aspects, Stress, Socioeconomic status, Women, Young adults


Numerous studies highlight the connection between women with low socioeconomic status (SES) and stress; however, there is a gap in the literature in regards to women with high SES status or what these two groups may have in common. The present study used a mixed methods approach to examine how types and levels of stress differ between women ages 18-24 years who have lower and higher socioeconomic status. Participants were 106 women with either low or high SES between the ages of 18-24 years. Data were collected using an anonymous online survey to determine each participant's SES and to identify types and levels of stress. Participants were asked to identify which of 13 stressors they experienced and how often. Levels of stress were determined by how often a participant experienced stress from identified stressors. The major findings were no significant difference was found in the mean number of stressors identified by women with both low and high SES. Of further significance were the types of stressors more often experienced by women with low SES compared to women with high SES. Women with low SES more frequently identified and reported high levels of stress around Attending College. Women with high SES more frequently identified Job Satisfaction and Salary Satisfaction as a stressor. High levels of stress were reported around Job Satisfaction for women with high SES. Regardless of SES, participants most commonly identified Romantic Relationships as a stressor.




v, 53 p. : col. ill. Thesis (M.S.W.)-Smith College School for Social Work, Northampton, Mass., 2011. Includes bibliographical references (p. 40-41)