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Fathers in 30s worst hit by stress of Covid, study shows

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Increase: Anxiety levels have doubled in fathers in their 30s since the start of the pandemic

Increase: Anxiety levels have doubled in fathers in their 30s since the start of the pandemic

Increase: Anxiety levels have doubled in fathers in their 30s since the start of the pandemic

Men in their 30s with children suffered the sharpest increase in stress as anxiety levels almost doubled since the outbreak of Covid-19.

One in three men now feel stressed compared with just one in ten pre-pandemic, according to new research.

A survey by insurer Aviva Life and Pensions published today calculates that over a million stress-related sick days have been taken since coronavirus struck.

It found 42pc of people suffer from anxiety, compared with 24pc pre-Covid. Some 40pc said they were stressed compared with 25pc before the pandemic.

Family health, isolation and loss of income are the nation’s top three worries.

“I think a lot of fathers have found themselves in a caring role that they hadn’t been in before and realised how stressful it was,” said Marc Stanley, a marine surveyor based in Roscommon.

Mr Stanley was employed as a rail mechanic with Irish Rail when he developed a heart condition, which meant he could not return to his job.

“I ended up, because of my health issue, at home with the kids,” he said.

“A lot of people, particularly men, are out working full-time and I think when they got stuck at home and the schools were closed, they couldn’t cope,” he added.

Stress among fathers in their 30s rose from 13pc before the pandemic to 36pc afterwards.

Pre-Covid, stress was most pronounced among 18- to 24-year-olds, but this has now shifted to 35- to 44-year-olds.

Anxiety was worst among 25- to 34-year-olds at 38pc pre-Covid, and now stands at 52pc.

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Remote working was not a huge worry factor across the board. Some 34pc said they had adapted well to working from home and 21pc said it had been a positive impact on their work-life balance. Only 10pc said it had a negative impact.

However, 16pc said they are working longer hours and this was highest among men in their 30s with children.

A total of 8pc of those surveyed had taken a sick day due to stress.


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