Effect of Stress on Students Essay Sample
Stress can destroy a human physically, emotionally, and mentally. The average high school student in this generation shows to have higher stress and anxiety levels, along with increased medical problems from this stress, than ever before. Many factors can contribute to this stress and the negative effects it can take on one’s body and mind. With students and their undeveloped minds, stress takes a larger toll on their current and future health. But what exactly can cause so much stress on a student, what effects will it have on them, and why is no one doing anything about it? For what causes stress on a student, the answer could lie within many things. However, almost 40 percent of parents say their high-schooler is experiencing a lot of stress from school, according to a new NPR poll conducted with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health.
In most cases, that stress is from academics, not social issues or bullying, the poll found. Homework was a leading cause of stress, with 24 percent of parents saying it’s an issue. Students feel an increasing pressure to keep their grades up; all while balancing extra-curricular activities, standardized testing, and the increased amount of homework being given. Stress has a way of affecting not only mental health, but physical health. Studies have found many health problems related to stress. Stress seems to worsen or increase the risk of conditions like obesity, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, depression and anxiety, gastrointestinal problems, headaches, accelerated aging, asthma, and premature death. Children now have to worry about stress and the health problems associated with it at a much younger age.
Last year, the American Psychological Association’s Stress in America survey found that Millennials, aged 18-33, were the country’s most-stressed generation. Now, the title belongs to an even younger demographic: American teenagers. Even before the pressures of work and adulthood set in, for most young Americans, stress has already become a fact of daily life. And this sets the stage early for unhealthy behaviors and lifestyle choices that may increase the risk of developing stress-related health problems down the road. Stress on high schoolers seems to have a large effect on their overall mental health and emotional stability. This stress can lead to emotional instability, depression, and forms of self harm as a coping mechanism.
According to APA’s 2013 Stress In America survey , teens report that their stress level during the school year (5.8/10) far exceeds what they believe to be a healthy level of stress (3.9/10). 31 percent of teens report feeling overwhelmed as a result of stress, 30 percent say that they feel sad or depressed as a result of stress, and 36 percent report feeling tired or fatigued because of stress. One recent study from the Stanford School of Medicine indicates that the number of children, ages 7-17, treated for depression more than doubled between 1995 and 2001. Another study suggests that these stress levels lead to multiple forms of self inflicted harm as a way to cope. Non-Suicidal Self-Injury is the deliberate, direct destruction of body tissue without conscious suicidal intent.
A new study suggests this is a relatively common occurrence for adolescents in high school. Led by researchers at The Miriam Hospital and The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, nearly half of the teens studied endorsed some form of Non-Suicidal Self-Injury (NSSI) in the past year, most frequently biting self, cutting/carving skin, hitting self on purpose, and burning skin.”We were surprised to find that 46 percent of the teens in the study reported injuring themselves in the past year on multiple occasions,” says Lloyd Richardson, leader of one of the studies. Furthermore, 60 percent of these (or 28 percent of the entire sample) endorsed moderate to severe forms of NSSI including cutting skin, burning skin, giving self a tattoo, scraping skin, or using a pencil to “erase” skin.
“This suggests that adolescents are engaging in NSSI for several reasons, including both regulating their own internal emotional states and trying to manage situations in their environment,” says Richardson. “Once thought of as a phenomenon only found in teens with mental health issues, the results support the notion that many adolescents in the community are self-harming as way to cope with emotional distress.” Obviously, the effect of stress on high school students is very prevalent and can cause many issues. American teenagers are now the most stressed-out age group in the U.S., according to APA’s 2013 Stress In America survey. While adults rate their stress at a 5.1 on a 10-point scale, teens rate their stress levels at 5.8. A fairly recent study performed by UCLA researchers reports that “high school students are more stressed and anxious than ever before.
More than 200,000 students were shown to have all time lows in over all mental health and emotional stability.” Psychologist Robert Leahy says, “The average high school student today has the same level of stress and anxiety as the average psychiatric patient in the early 1950’s.” That’s right, the same thing that sent people to mental hospitals in the 50’s now walks our high school hallways. Personally, I really struggle with stress caused by academics. It gets to a point every year where I will literally cry myself to sleep every night due to the stress school causes. This stress roots from the pressure to do well on tests, and the fact that I can never get my work done, because there is just too much. It has gotten to the point in my life where I no longer care about my grades or education.
So this is why I personally feel I do badly in school, because the school system has put so much pressure on me and pushed so hard for me to do well. Despite all of this information, stress levels in high school students continue to increase. The amount of stress put on an adolescent causes an abundant amount of possible physical and mental problems to arise. This stress can be caused by anything, but is primarily caused from unrealistic academic expectations, resulting in the next generation of American leaders to be emotionally unstable with declining physical health. The effect of stress on high school students is obviously very prevalent and will increase with each new generation. If the effects are this perilous and unhealthy now, imagine 20 or 30 years in the future. What is in store for the next generation of American teenagers, and what will this entire generation of upcoming possible mentally unstable young adults even amount to?