Monday, January 31, 2011

Record Level of Stress Found in College Freshmen

I have mixed feelings about this study, showing record levels of stress among college freshmen.  Of course there is bad stress that can lead to depression or suicide, for example, but stress can also be a GOOD thing if it means that students are being pushed to work their hardest and excel.  Given the statistics I cite on page 19 of my school reform presentation ( – that our youth are spending an average of 4 ½ hours per day watching TV and 7 ½ hours/day in front of a screen of some sort, and that college students are only doing 14 hours/week of homework, 42% less than the 24  hours/week they were doing in 1960 – I think that, overall, our youth need MORE, not less stress in their lives.


Here's an excerpt from the article:

The emotional health of college freshmen — who feel buffeted by the recession and stressed by the pressures of high school — has declined to the lowest level since an annual survey of incoming students started collecting data 25 years ago.

In the survey, "The American Freshman: National Norms Fall 2010," involving more than 200,000 incoming full-time students at four-year colleges, the percentage of students rating themselves as "below average" in emotional health rose. Meanwhile, the percentage of students who said their emotional health was above average fell to 52 percent. It was 64 percent in 1985.

Every year, women had a less positive view of their emotional health than men, and that gap has widened.

Campus counselors say the survey results are the latest evidence of what they see every day in their offices — students who are depressed, under stress and using psychiatric medication, prescribed even before they came to college.

The economy has only added to the stress, not just because of financial pressures on their parents but also because the students are worried about their own college debt and job prospects when they graduate.


January 26, 2011

Record Level of Stress Found in College Freshmen


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