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Study Says Women Experience Far More Stress Than Men In Daily Commutes

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- When you think of the daily grind, commuting is right at the top of the list.

As CBS2's Alice Gainer reported, being stuck in traffic can send stress levels soaring, and research finds it affects men and women in very different ways.

Heather Martin first has to get her kids off to school on the school bus. Then, it is time for her to start her own daily trek to work on the roads, and change hats from mother and wife to executive at a human resources agency.

"It will probably take us about 50 minutes or so," Martin said. "It's kind of a crap shoot."

And that unknown – that lack of control means stress – and lots of it.

Commute times are up in recent years, and according to one study, New Yorkers have it worst. And now, a new British study finds women are much more stressed by commuting than men.

Psychiatrist Dr. Danny Mendoza agreed.

"The day never ends," Mendoza said. "They get into their car and they're commuting to their next job, which is home. At the same time, in the car, they're thinking about their kids; they're thinking about their spouses."

But the women who talked to CBS2 at Penn Station thought otherwise.

"I take things as they come," said Jacqueline Charles. "We can't worry about every little stupid thing."

"I mean, it really depends on the person and how you mentally handle things," another woman said.

But the men agreed.

"Women have to deal with children and other aspects of that as well,:" said Aaron Wyche. "I think it can be a little bit more stressful."

"I think there's something to it," added another man.

The study found the psychological impact was felt most by working moms with pre-school age children. Their stress levels from commuting were four times greater than those of the dads.

"We juggle a lot," said Michelle Roccia, a human resources executive. "We have the expectation of, can I do it all?"

Roccia believes women put too much stress on themselves.

"If you can really use those strategies to say, 'I can't control what is out here; I can only control what is in here,'" Roccia said.

But as Gainer reported, experts say change, like traffic, can move slowly.

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