The impact of financial stress on your family

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When the bills pile up, it's easy to feel stressed, potentially leading to an increased risk of health problems.

However, financial insecurities do not only affect the person experiencing stress. Studies have found that chronic stress can be "contagious" - showing detrimental effects on children.

Financial stress can impact the health and wellbeing of your family.

Financial stress and the health of your family

Financial stress can have a direct impact your family's health. According to the 'Survey of attitudes towards the Australian health system' carried out by the Menzies Centre for Health Policy at the University of Sydneyi, families under financial stress are more likely to suffer poorer health.

The survey found that in households suffering financial stress 28% skipped tests or treatment (16% in households with no financial stress), 21% did not collect prescriptions or missed doses of medicine (14% in households with no financial stress), and nearly half needed dental care but did not see a dentist (20% of households with no financial stress).

There are also links that parental stress can lead children to behavioural problems, difficulty in handling stress themselves, and increase the risk of mental illnessii. According to David Code, author of Kids Pick Up On Everything: How Parental Stress is Toxic to Kids, a parent's level of chronic stress can alter their child's make-upiii.

A recent study on prenatal exposure to maternal depression also found that women who are depressed or anxious during pregnancy can actually silence the stress-hormone-receptor gene in their childii. When this gene is silenced, it can be extremely difficult to cope with adverse situations, leaving a person more vulnerable to developing mental disordersii.

Support from family and friends can help alleviate some of the burdens brought on by financial stress.

Taking care of you and your family

The loss of a loved one may be combined with significant changes to your family's financial situation. Their grief may be added to by stress from financial concerns, which may result in both changes to your family's lifestyle and potentially larger health problems.

However, you can help your family avoid the stress that comes with financial hardship. Providing future financial security for your family is something you can be in control of. In the event you suffer from a critical illness, are permanently unable to work due to injury, or die, life insurance can ensure your family has the financial means to continue with their way of life. Get a quote online from Allianz today to start protecting your family’s future.

i Menzies Centre for Health Policy at the University of Sydney, 2008, Survey of attitudes towards the Australian health system, 2 - Financial stress - release.pdf

ii Begley, S., 2011, How Stressed Parents Scar Their Kids, The Daily Beast,

iii Walton, A.G., 2012, How Parents' Stress Can Hurt A Child, From The Inside Out, Forbes,