The Kind of Stress That Makes You Appear Older

One particular type of stress takes the greatest toll on your appearance.

One particular type of stress takes the greatest toll on your appearance.

Financial stress takes the greatest toll on your appearance, a study concludes.

People who have experienced the most financial stress across a decade looked the oldest, researchers found.

Professor Margie Lachman, who led the research, said:

“It may be that people who are under a lot of financial stress do not pay much attention to their appearance.

Stress can also accelerate the aging process.”

The study tracked 200 people from the mid-1990s for a decade.

Each had their photo taken before and after.

Their photos were judged for apparent age by 19 reviewers.

The results showed that people with the greatest financial stress over the decade looked the oldest.

Financial stress had the greatest impact on apparent ageing, in comparison to other sources.

This is consistent with the finding that people say that financial stresses are the most problematic in their lives.

Financial and work stress also makes people feel older themselves.

The study also revealed that:

  • Most people believed that they looked younger than they were.
  • People who felt healthier also felt younger.
  • Women were more likely to think they looked younger than they actually did.
  • Younger people felt much the same age as they appeared to others.
  • Older people generally felt younger than they looked.

The study was published in the journal of Research on Aging (Agrigoroaei et al., 2016).

Author: Dr Jeremy Dean

Psychologist, Jeremy Dean, PhD is the founder and author of PsyBlog. He holds a doctorate in psychology from University College London and two other advanced degrees in psychology. He has been writing about scientific research on PsyBlog since 2004.

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