Psychology: The Role Of Stress In High School

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In the twenty-first century, young students are feeling the pressure of society’s strenuous demands more than ever, especially in the academic environment. Many of these arduous pressures include maintaining satisfactory grades, acquiring high standardized test scores, and dealing with newly-developed friendships and relationships. As a result of an excessive amount of pressure, stress develops. According to Learn Psychology, a credible and informative psychology organization, “Stress is the body’s reaction to a challenge.” Stress can be both beneficial and detrimental. Learn Psychology, claims “Stress produces a physiological reaction in your body. Hormones are released, which results in physical manifestations of stress...This process is…show more content…
These factors vary, depending on the age and grade level of each student. An elementary student may stress about transitioning from elementary to middle school, whereas a high school student may be concerned about an AP exam. Noelle Leonard, an experienced senior research scientist at the NYU school of nursing, asserts that high school students, especially upperclassmen, tend to stress over college applications, grades, and homework. Researchers from NYU differentiate “good” and “bad” stress. “According to Leonard academic, athletic, social, and personal challenges have been regarded as domains of “good stress” for high school aged youth. However, there is growing awareness that many subgroups of youth experience high levels of chronic stress, to the extent that it impedes their abilities to succeed academically, compromises their mental health functioning, and fosters risk behavior. Furthermore, this chronic stress appears to persist into the college years, and Leonard warns it may contribute to academic disengagement and mental health problems among emerging adults.” (Communications, NYU Web). Immoderate stress levels accumulate due to academic pressures and social challenges stemming from the school…show more content…
Students, especially adolescents have developed their own ways of coping with stress; however, some of these methods can be disadvantageous. The NYU study indicates an extensive number of students have turned to substance abuse for stress relief. Over the thirty-day period preceding the survey, 38 percent of students reported getting drunk and 34 percent of students reported getting high on an illegal substance, rates one to two times greater than reported in national normative samples.”(Communications, NYU Web). Positive coping mechanisms include yoga, exercise, and communication with available adults such as parents and counselors. “Three main themes emerged as the most dominant adaptive coping strategies, notably, sports and exercise, preventive activities such as good planning skills, and maintaining a balanced perspective on school and grades.”(Communications, NYU Web). Necessary precautions involving both student and trusted adults should be taken to alleviate stress

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