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Stanford research shows pitfalls of homework
A Stanford researcher found that students in high-achieving communities who spend too much time on homework experience more stress, physical health problems, a lack of balance and even alienation from society. More than two hours of homework a night may be counterproductive, according to the study.
Education scholar Denise Pope has found that too much homework has negative effects on student well-being and behavioral engagement. (Image credit: L.A. Cicero)
A Stanford researcher found that too much homework can negatively affect kids, especially their lives away from school, where family, friends and activities matter.
“Our findings on the effects of homework challenge the traditional assumption that homework is inherently good,” wrote Denise Pope , a senior lecturer at the Stanford Graduate School of Education and a co-author of a study published in the Journal of Experimental Education .
The researchers used survey data to examine perceptions about homework, student well-being and behavioral engagement in a sample of 4,317 students from 10 high-performing high schools in upper-middle-class California communities. Along with the survey data, Pope and her colleagues used open-ended answers to explore the students’ views on homework.
Median household income exceeded $90,000 in these communities, and 93 percent of the students went on to college, either two-year or four-year.
Students in these schools average about 3.1 hours of homework each night.
“The findings address how current homework practices in privileged, high-performing schools sustain students’ advantage in competitive climates yet hinder learning, full engagement and well-being,” Pope wrote.
Pope and her colleagues found that too much homework can diminish its effectiveness and even be counterproductive. They cite prior research indicating that homework benefits plateau at about two hours per night, and that 90 minutes to two and a half hours is optimal for high school.
Their study found that too much homework is associated with:
• Greater stress: 56 percent of the students considered homework a primary source of stress, according to the survey data. Forty-three percent viewed tests as a primary stressor, while 33 percent put the pressure to get good grades in that category. Less than 1 percent of the students said homework was not a stressor.
• Reductions in health: In their open-ended answers, many students said their homework load led to sleep deprivation and other health problems. The researchers asked students whether they experienced health issues such as headaches, exhaustion, sleep deprivation, weight loss and stomach problems.
• Less time for friends, family and extracurricular pursuits: Both the survey data and student responses indicate that spending too much time on homework meant that students were “not meeting their developmental needs or cultivating other critical life skills,” according to the researchers. Students were more likely to drop activities, not see friends or family, and not pursue hobbies they enjoy.
A balancing act
The results offer empirical evidence that many students struggle to find balance between homework, extracurricular activities and social time, the researchers said. Many students felt forced or obligated to choose homework over developing other talents or skills.
Also, there was no relationship between the time spent on homework and how much the student enjoyed it. The research quoted students as saying they often do homework they see as “pointless” or “mindless” in order to keep their grades up.
“This kind of busy work, by its very nature, discourages learning and instead promotes doing homework simply to get points,” Pope said.
She said the research calls into question the value of assigning large amounts of homework in high-performing schools. Homework should not be simply assigned as a routine practice, she said.
“Rather, any homework assigned should have a purpose and benefit, and it should be designed to cultivate learning and development,” wrote Pope.
In places where students attend high-performing schools, too much homework can reduce their time to foster skills in the area of personal responsibility, the researchers concluded. “Young people are spending more time alone,” they wrote, “which means less time for family and fewer opportunities to engage in their communities.”
The researchers say that while their open-ended or “self-reporting” methodology to gauge student concerns about homework may have limitations – some might regard it as an opportunity for “typical adolescent complaining” – it was important to learn firsthand what the students believe.
The paper was co-authored by Mollie Galloway from Lewis and Clark College and Jerusha Conner from Villanova University.
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Stress & Anxiety | Written by: Keely
The Truth About Homework Stress: What Parents & Students Need to Know
Homework is generally given out to ensure that students take time to review and remember the days lessons. It can help improve on a student’s general performance and enhance traits like self-discipline and independent problem solving.
Parents are able to see what their children are doing in school, while also helping teachers determine how well the lesson material is being learned. Homework is quite beneficial when used the right way and can improve student performance.
This well intentioned practice can turn sour if it’s not handled the right way. Studies show that if a student is inundated with too much homework, not only do they get lower scores, but they are more likely to get stressed.
The age at which homework stress is affecting students is getting lower, some even as low as kindergarten. Makes you wonder what could a five year old possibly need to review as homework?
One of the speculated reasons for this stress is that the complexity of what a student is expected to learn is increasing, while the breaks for working out excess energy are reduced. Students are getting significantly more homework than recommended by the education leaders, some even nearly three times more.
To make matters worse, teachers may give homework that is both time consuming and will keep students busy while being totally non-productive.
Remedial work like telling students to copy notes word for word from their text books will do nothing to improve their grades or help them progress. It just adds unnecessary stress.
Effects of homework stress at home
Both parents and students tend to get stressed out at the beginning of a new school year due to the impending arrival of homework.
Nightly battles centered on finishing assignments are a household routine in houses with students.
Research has found that too much homework can negatively affect children. In creating a lack of balance between play time and time spent doing homework, a child can get headaches, sleep deprivation or even ulcers.
And homework stress doesn’t just impact grade schoolers. College students are also affected, and the stress is affecting their academic performance.
Even the parent’s confidence in their abilities to help their children with homework suffers due increasing stress levels in the household.
Fights and conflict over homework are more likely in families where parents do not have at least a college degree. When the child needs assistance, they have to turn to their older siblings who might already be bombarded with their own homework.
Parents who have a college degree feel more confident in approaching the school and discussing the appropriate amount of school work.
“It seems that homework being assigned discriminates against parents who don’t have college degree, parents who have English as their second language and against parents who are poor.” Said Stephanie Donaldson Pressman, the contributing editor of the study and clinical director of the New England Center for Pediatric Psychology.
With all the stress associated with homework, it’s not surprising that some parents have opted not to let their children do homework. Parents that have instituted a no-homework policy have stated that it has taken a lot of the stress out of their evenings.
The recommended amount homework
The standard endorsed by the National Education Association is called the “10 minute rule”; 10 minutes per grade level per night. This recommendation was made after a number of studies were done on the effects of too much homework on families.
The 10 minute rule basically means 10 minutes of homework in the first grade, 20 minute for the second grade all the way up to 120 minutes for senior year in high school. Note that no homework is endorsed in classes under the first grade.
Parents reported first graders were spending around half an hour on homework each night, and kindergarteners spent 25 minutes a night on assignments according to a study carried out by Brown University.
Making a five year old sit still for half an hour is very difficult as they are at the age where they just want to move around and play.
A child who is exposed to 4-5 hours of homework after school is less likely to find the time to go out and play with their friends, which leads to accumulation of stress energy in the body.
Their social life also suffers because between the time spent at school and doing homework, a child will hardly have the time to pursue hobbies. They may also develop a negative attitude towards learning.
The research highlighted that 56% of students consider homework a primary source of stress.
And if you’re curious how the U.S stacks up against other countries in regards to how much time children spend on homework, it’s pretty high on the list .
Signs to look out for on a student that has homework stress
Since not every student is affected by homework stress in the same way, it’s important to be aware of some of the signs your child might be mentally drained from too much homework.
Here are some common signs of homework stress:
- Sleep disturbances
- Frequent stomachaches and headaches
- Decreased appetite or changed eating habits
- New or recurring fears
- Not able to relax
- Regressing to behavior they had when younger
- Bursts of anger crying or whining
- Becoming withdrawn while others may become clingy
- Drastic changes in academic performance
- Having trouble concentrating or completing homework
- Constantly complains about their ability to do homework
If you’re a parent and notice any of these signs in your child, step in to find out what’s going on and if homework is the source of their stress.
If you’re a student, pay attention if you start experiencing any of these symptoms as a result of your homework load. Don’t be afraid to ask your teacher or parents for help if the stress of homework becomes too much for you.
What parents do wrong when it comes to homework stress
Most parents push their children to do more and be more, without considering the damage being done by this kind of pressure.
Some think that homework brought home is always something the children can deal with on their own. If the child cannot handle their homework then these parents get angry and make the child feel stupid.
This may lead to more arguing and increased dislike of homework in the household. Ultimately the child develops an even worse attitude towards homework.
Another common mistake parents make is never questioning the amount of homework their children get, or how much time they spend on it. It’s easy to just assume whatever the teacher assigned is adequate, but as we mentioned earlier, that’s not always the case.
Be proactive and involved with your child’s homework. If you notice they’re spending hours every night on homework, ask them about it. Just because they don’t complain doesn’t mean there isn’t a problem.
How can parents help?
- While every parent wants their child to become successful and achieve the very best, it’s important to pull back on the mounting pressure and remember that they’re still just kids. They need time out to release their stress and connect with other children.
- Many children may be afraid to admit that they’re overwhelmed by homework because they might be misconstrued as failures. The best thing a parent can do is make home a safe place for children to express themselves freely. You can do this by lending a listening ear and not judging your kids.
- Parents can also take the initiative to let the school know that they’re unhappy with the amount of homework being given. Even if you don’t feel comfortable complaining, you can approach the school through the parent-teacher association available and request your representative to plead your case.
- It may not be all the subjects that are causing your child to get stressed. Parents should find out if there is a specific subject of homework that is causing stress. You could also consult with other parents to see what they can do to fix the situation. It may be the amount or the content that causes stress, so the first step is identifying the problem.
- Work with your child to create a schedule for getting homework done on time. You can set a specific period of time for homework, and schedule time for other activities too. Strike a balance between work and play.
- Understanding that your child is stressed about homework doesn’t mean you have to allow them not to try. Let them sit down and work on it as much as they’re able to, and recruit help from the older siblings or a neighbor if possible.
- Check out these resources to help your child with their homework .
The main idea here is to not abolish homework completely, but to review the amount and quality of homework being given out. Stress, depression and lower grades are the last things parents want for their children.
The schools and parents need to work together to find a solution to this obvious problem.
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More than two hours of homework may be counterproductive, research suggests.
A Stanford education researcher found that too much homework can negatively affect kids, especially their lives away from school, where family, friends and activities matter. "Our findings on the effects of homework challenge the traditional assumption that homework is inherently good," wrote Denise Pope , a senior lecturer at the Stanford Graduate School of Education and a co-author of a study published in the Journal of Experimental Education . The researchers used survey data to examine perceptions about homework, student well-being and behavioral engagement in a sample of 4,317 students from 10 high-performing high schools in upper-middle-class California communities. Along with the survey data, Pope and her colleagues used open-ended answers to explore the students' views on homework. Median household income exceeded $90,000 in these communities, and 93 percent of the students went on to college, either two-year or four-year. Students in these schools average about 3.1 hours of homework each night. "The findings address how current homework practices in privileged, high-performing schools sustain students' advantage in competitive climates yet hinder learning, full engagement and well-being," Pope wrote. Pope and her colleagues found that too much homework can diminish its effectiveness and even be counterproductive. They cite prior research indicating that homework benefits plateau at about two hours per night, and that 90 minutes to two and a half hours is optimal for high school. Their study found that too much homework is associated with: • Greater stress : 56 percent of the students considered homework a primary source of stress, according to the survey data. Forty-three percent viewed tests as a primary stressor, while 33 percent put the pressure to get good grades in that category. Less than 1 percent of the students said homework was not a stressor. • Reductions in health : In their open-ended answers, many students said their homework load led to sleep deprivation and other health problems. The researchers asked students whether they experienced health issues such as headaches, exhaustion, sleep deprivation, weight loss and stomach problems. • Less time for friends, family and extracurricular pursuits : Both the survey data and student responses indicate that spending too much time on homework meant that students were "not meeting their developmental needs or cultivating other critical life skills," according to the researchers. Students were more likely to drop activities, not see friends or family, and not pursue hobbies they enjoy. A balancing act The results offer empirical evidence that many students struggle to find balance between homework, extracurricular activities and social time, the researchers said. Many students felt forced or obligated to choose homework over developing other talents or skills. Also, there was no relationship between the time spent on homework and how much the student enjoyed it. The research quoted students as saying they often do homework they see as "pointless" or "mindless" in order to keep their grades up. "This kind of busy work, by its very nature, discourages learning and instead promotes doing homework simply to get points," said Pope, who is also a co-founder of Challenge Success , a nonprofit organization affiliated with the GSE that conducts research and works with schools and parents to improve students' educational experiences.. Pope said the research calls into question the value of assigning large amounts of homework in high-performing schools. Homework should not be simply assigned as a routine practice, she said. "Rather, any homework assigned should have a purpose and benefit, and it should be designed to cultivate learning and development," wrote Pope. High-performing paradox In places where students attend high-performing schools, too much homework can reduce their time to foster skills in the area of personal responsibility, the researchers concluded. "Young people are spending more time alone," they wrote, "which means less time for family and fewer opportunities to engage in their communities." Student perspectives The researchers say that while their open-ended or "self-reporting" methodology to gauge student concerns about homework may have limitations – some might regard it as an opportunity for "typical adolescent complaining" – it was important to learn firsthand what the students believe. The paper was co-authored by Mollie Galloway from Lewis and Clark College and Jerusha Conner from Villanova University.
Clifton B. Parker is a writer at the Stanford News Service .
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August 16, 2021
Is it time to get rid of homework? Mental health experts weigh in
by Sara M Moniuszko
The pandemic made the conversation around homework more crucial
'get organized' ahead of back-to-school.
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Health Hazards of Homework
March 18, 2014 | Julie Greicius Pediatrics .
A new study by the Stanford Graduate School of Education and colleagues found that students in high-performing schools who did excessive hours of homework “experienced greater behavioral engagement in school but also more academic stress, physical health problems, and lack of balance in their lives.”
Those health problems ranged from stress, headaches, exhaustion, sleep deprivation, weight loss and stomach problems, to psycho-social effects like dropping activities, not seeing friends or family, and not pursuing hobbies they enjoy.
In the Stanford Report story about the research, Denise Pope , a senior lecturer at the Stanford Graduate School of Education and a co-author of the study published in the Journal of Experimental Education , says, “Our findings on the effects of homework challenge the traditional assumption that homework is inherently good.”
The study was based on survey data from a sample of 4,317 students from 10 high-performing high schools in California communities in which median household income exceeded $90,000. Of the students surveyed, homework volume averaged about 3.1 hours each night.
“It is time to re-evaluate how the school environment is preparing our high school student for today’s workplace,” says Neville Golden, MD , chief of adolescent medicine at Stanford Medicine Children’s Health and a professor at the School of Medicine. “This landmark study shows that excessive homework is counterproductive, leading to sleep deprivation, school stress and other health problems. Parents can best support their children in these demanding academic environments by advocating for them through direct communication with teachers and school administrators about homework load.”
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Is it time to get rid of homework? Mental health experts weigh in.
It's no secret that kids hate homework. And as students grapple with an ongoing pandemic that has had a wide range of mental health impacts, is it time schools start listening to their pleas about workloads?
Some teachers are turning to social media to take a stand against homework.
Tiktok user @misguided.teacher says he doesn't assign it because the "whole premise of homework is flawed."
For starters, he says, he can't grade work on "even playing fields" when students' home environments can be vastly different.
"Even students who go home to a peaceful house, do they really want to spend their time on busy work? Because typically that's what a lot of homework is, it's busy work," he says in the video that has garnered 1.6 million likes. "You only get one year to be 7, you only got one year to be 10, you only get one year to be 16, 18."
Mental health experts agree heavy workloads have the potential do more harm than good for students, especially when taking into account the impacts of the pandemic. But they also say the answer may not be to eliminate homework altogether.
Emmy Kang, mental health counselor at Humantold , says studies have shown heavy workloads can be "detrimental" for students and cause a "big impact on their mental, physical and emotional health."
"More than half of students say that homework is their primary source of stress, and we know what stress can do on our bodies," she says, adding that staying up late to finish assignments also leads to disrupted sleep and exhaustion.
Cynthia Catchings, a licensed clinical social worker and therapist at Talkspace , says heavy workloads can also cause serious mental health problems in the long run, like anxiety and depression.
And for all the distress homework can cause, it's not as useful as many may think, says Dr. Nicholas Kardaras, a psychologist and CEO of Omega Recovery treatment center.
"The research shows that there's really limited benefit of homework for elementary age students, that really the school work should be contained in the classroom," he says.
For older students, Kang says, homework benefits plateau at about two hours per night.
"Most students, especially at these high achieving schools, they're doing a minimum of three hours, and it's taking away time from their friends, from their families, their extracurricular activities. And these are all very important things for a person's mental and emotional health."
Catchings, who also taught third to 12th graders for 12 years, says she's seen the positive effects of a no-homework policy while working with students abroad.
"Not having homework was something that I always admired from the French students (and) the French schools, because that was helping the students to really have the time off and really disconnect from school," she says.
The answer may not be to eliminate homework completely but to be more mindful of the type of work students take home, suggests Kang, who was a high school teacher for 10 years.
"I don't think (we) should scrap homework; I think we should scrap meaningless, purposeless busy work-type homework. That's something that needs to be scrapped entirely," she says, encouraging teachers to be thoughtful and consider the amount of time it would take for students to complete assignments.
The pandemic made the conversation around homework more crucial
Mindfulness surrounding homework is especially important in the context of the past two years. Many students will be struggling with mental health issues that were brought on or worsened by the pandemic , making heavy workloads even harder to balance.
"COVID was just a disaster in terms of the lack of structure. Everything just deteriorated," Kardaras says, pointing to an increase in cognitive issues and decrease in attention spans among students. "School acts as an anchor for a lot of children, as a stabilizing force, and that disappeared."
But even if students transition back to the structure of in-person classes, Kardaras suspects students may still struggle after two school years of shifted schedules and disrupted sleeping habits.
"We've seen adults struggling to go back to in-person work environments from remote work environments. That effect is amplified with children because children have less resources to be able to cope with those transitions than adults do," he explains.
'Get organized' ahead of back-to-school
In order to make the transition back to in-person school easier, Kang encourages students to "get good sleep, exercise regularly (and) eat a healthy diet."
To help manage workloads, she suggests students "get organized."
"There's so much mental clutter up there when you're disorganized. ... Sitting down and planning out their study schedules can really help manage their time," she says.
Breaking up assignments can also make things easier to tackle.
"I know that heavy workloads can be stressful, but if you sit down and you break down that studying into smaller chunks, they're much more manageable."
If workloads are still too much, Kang encourages students to advocate for themselves.
"They should tell their teachers when a homework assignment just took too much time or if it was too difficult for them to do on their own," she says. "It's good to speak up and ask those questions. Respectfully, of course, because these are your teachers. But still, I think sometimes teachers themselves need this feedback from their students."
More: Some teachers let their students sleep in class. Here's what mental health experts say.
More: Some parents are slipping young kids in for the COVID-19 vaccine, but doctors discourage the move as 'risky'
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I’m So Stressed Out! Fact Sheet
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Feeling overwhelmed? Read this fact sheet to learn whether it’s stress or anxiety, and what you can do to cope.
Is it stress or anxiety?
Life can be stressful—you may feel stressed about performance at school, traumatic events (such as a pandemic, a natural disaster, or an act of violence), or a life change. Everyone feels stress from time to time.
What is stress? Stress is the physical or mental response to an external cause, such as having a lot of homework or having an illness. A stressor may be a one-time or short-term occurrence, or it can happen repeatedly over a long time.
What is anxiety? Anxiety is your body's reaction to stress and can occur even if there is no current threat.
If that anxiety doesn’t go away and begins to interfere with your life, it could affect your health. You could experience problems with sleeping, or with your immune, digestive, cardiovascular, and reproductive systems. You also may be at higher risk for developing a mental illness such as an anxiety disorder or depression. Read more about anxiety disorders .
So, how do you know when to seek help?
Stress vs. Anxiety
It’s important to manage your stress..
Everyone experiences stress, and sometimes that stress can feel overwhelming. You may be at risk for an anxiety disorder if it feels like you can’t manage the stress and if the symptoms of your stress:
- Interfere with your everyday life.
- Cause you to avoid doing things.
- Seem to be always present.
Coping With Stress and Anxiety
Learning what causes or triggers your stress and what coping techniques work for you can help reduce your anxiety and improve your daily life. It may take trial and error to discover what works best for you. Here are some activities you can try when you start to feel overwhelmed:
- Keep a journal.
- Download an app that provides relaxation exercises (such as deep breathing or visualization) or tips for practicing mindfulness, which is a psychological process of actively paying attention to the present moment.
- Exercise, and make sure you are eating healthy, regular meals.
- Stick to a sleep routine, and make sure you are getting enough sleep.
- Avoid drinking excess caffeine such as soft drinks or coffee.
- Identify and challenge your negative and unhelpful thoughts.
- Reach out to your friends or family members who help you cope in a positive way.
Recognize When You Need More Help
If you are struggling to cope, or the symptoms of your stress or anxiety won’t go away, it may be time to talk to a professional. Psychotherapy (also called talk therapy) and medication are the two main treatments for anxiety, and many people benefit from a combination of the two.
If you are in immediate distress or are thinking about hurting yourself, call or text the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988 or chat at 988lifeline.org .
If you or someone you know has a mental illness, is struggling emotionally, or has concerns about their mental health, there are ways to get help. Read more about getting help .
- NIMH: Anxiety Disorders
- NIMH: Caring for Your Mental Health
- NIMH: Child and Adolescent Mental Health
- NIMH: Tips for Talking With a Health Care Provider About Your Mental Health
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Anxiety and Depression in Children
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health NIH Publication No. 20-MH-8125
The information in this publication is in the public domain and may be reused or copied without permission. However, you may not reuse or copy images. Please cite the National Institute of Mental Health as the source. Read our copyright policy to learn more about our guidelines for reusing NIMH content.
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School Stress Takes A Toll On Health, Teens And Parents Say
Colleen Frainey, 16, of Tualatin, Ore., cut back on advanced placement classes in her junior year because the stress was making her physically ill. Toni Greaves for NPR hide caption
Colleen Frainey, 16, of Tualatin, Ore., cut back on advanced placement classes in her junior year because the stress was making her physically ill.
When high school junior Nora Huynh got her report card, she was devastated to see that she didn't get a perfect 4.0.
Nora "had a total meltdown, cried for hours," her mother, Jennie Huynh of Alameda, Calif., says. "I couldn't believe her reaction."
Nora is doing college-level work, her mother says, but many of her friends are taking enough advanced classes to boost their grade-point averages above 4.0. "It breaks my heart to see her upset when she's doing so awesome and going above and beyond."
And the pressure is taking a physical toll, too. At age 16, Nora is tired, is increasingly irritated with her siblings and often suffers headaches, her mother says.
Teens Talk Stress
When NPR asked on Facebook if stress is an issue for teenagers, they spoke loud and clear:
- "Academic stress has been a part of my life ever since I can remember," wrote Bretta McCall, 16, of Seattle. "This year I spend about 12 hours a day on schoolwork. I'm home right now because I was feeling so sick from stress I couldn't be at school. So as you can tell, it's a big part of my life!"
- "At the time of writing this, my weekend assignments include two papers, a PowerPoint to go with a 10-minute presentation, studying for a test and two quizzes, and an entire chapter (approximately 40 pages) of notes in a college textbook," wrote Connor West of New Jersey.
- "It's a problem that's basically brushed off by most people," wrote Kelly Farrell in Delaware. "There's this mentality of, 'You're doing well, so why are you complaining?' " She says she started experiencing symptoms of stress in middle school, and was diagnosed with panic disorder and generalized anxiety disorder in high school.
- "Parents are the worst about all of this," writes Colin Hughes of Illinois. "All I hear is, 'Work harder, you're a smart kid, I know you have it in you, and if you want to go to college you need to work harder.' It's a pain."
Parents are right to be worried about stress and their children's health, says Mary Alvord , a clinical psychologist in Maryland and public education coordinator for the American Psychological Association.
"A little stress is a good thing," Alvord says. "It can motivate students to be organized. But too much stress can backfire."
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. (See the full results here .)
Homework was a leading cause of stress, with 24 percent of parents saying it's an issue.
Teenagers say they're suffering, too. A survey by the American Psychological Association found that nearly half of all teens — 45 percent — said they were stressed by school pressures.
Chronic stress can cause a sense of panic and paralysis, Alvord says. The child feels stuck, which only adds to the feeling of stress.
Parents can help put the child's distress in perspective, particularly when they get into what Alvord calls catastrophic "what if" thinking: "What if I get a bad grade, then what if that means I fail the course, then I'll never get into college."
Then move beyond talking and do something about it.
Colleen pets her horse, Bishop. They had been missing out on rides together because of homework. Toni Greaves for NPR hide caption
Colleen pets her horse, Bishop. They had been missing out on rides together because of homework.
That's what 16-year-old Colleen Frainey of Tualatin, Ore., did. As a sophomore last year, she was taking all advanced courses. The pressure was making her sick. "I didn't feel good, and when I didn't feel good I felt like I couldn't do my work, which would stress me out more," she says.
Mom Abigail Frainey says, "It was more than we could handle as a family."
With encouragement from her parents, Colleen dropped one of her advanced courses. The family's decision generated disbelief from other parents. "Why would I let her take the easy way out?" Abigail Frainey heard.
But she says dialing down on academics was absolutely the right decision for her child. Colleen no longer suffers headaches or stomachaches. She's still in honors courses, but the workload this year is manageable.
Even better, Colleen now has time to do things she never would have considered last year, like going out to dinner with the family on a weeknight, or going to the barn to ride her horse, Bishop.
Psychologist Alvord says a balanced life should be the goal for all families. If a child is having trouble getting things done, parents can help plan the week, deciding what's important and what's optional. "Just basic time management — that will help reduce the stress."
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Is Homework a Waste of Students' Time? Study Finds It's the Biggest Cause of Teen Stress
As the debate over the need for homework continues, a new study found that it's the biggest cause of teen stress, leading to sleepless nights and poor academic performance
Julie Mazziotta is the Sports Editor at PEOPLE, covering everything from the NFL to tennis to Simone Biles and Tom Brady. She was previously an Associate Editor for the Health vertical for six years, and prior to joining PEOPLE worked at Health Magazine. When not covering professional athletes, Julie spends her time as a (very) amateur athlete, training for marathons, long bike trips and hikes.
It’s the bane of every teen’s existence. After sitting through hours at school, they leave only to get started on mountains of homework. And educators are mixed on its effectiveness . Some say the practice reinforces what students learned during the day, while others argue that it put unnecessary stress on kids and parents , who are often stuck nagging or helping.
According to a new study, conducted by the Better Sleep Council , that homework stress is the biggest source of frustration for teens, with 74 percent of those surveyed ranking it the highest, above self-esteem (51 percent) parental expectations (45 percent) and bullying (15 percent).
Homework is taking up a large chunk of their time , too — around 15-plus hours a week, with about one-third of teens reporting that it’s closer to 20-plus hours.
The stress and excessive homework adds up to lost sleep, the BSC says. According to the survey, 57 percent of teenagers said that they don’t get enough sleep, with 67 reporting that they get just five to seven hours a night — a far cry from the recommended eight to ten hours. The BSC says that their research shows that when teens feel more stressed, their sleep suffers. They go to sleep later, wake up earlier and have more trouble falling and staying asleep than less-stressed teens.
“We’re finding that teenagers are experiencing this cycle where they sacrifice their sleep to spend extra time on homework, which gives them more stress — but they don’t get better grades,” said Mary Helen Rogers, the vice president of marketing and communications for the BSC.
RELATED VIDEO: To Help Or Not To Help: Moms Talk About Whether Or Not They Help Their Children With Homework
Another interesting finding from this study: students who go to bed earlier and wake up earlier do better academically than those who stay up late, even if those night owls are spending that time doing homework.
To end this cycle of sleep deprivation and stress, the BSC recommends that students try setting a consistent time to go to sleep each night, regardless of leftover homework. And their other sleep tips are good for anyone, regardless of age — keep the temperature between 65 and 67 degrees, turn off the electronic devices before bed, make sure the mattress is comfy and reduce noise with earplugs or sound machines.
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When Homework Causes Stress
Homework is an important part of keeping students engaged with the class material outside of school, even though some students may think of it as a waste of time and effort. By doing homework, students are able to think about what was taught in class in further detail and develop a mastery through practical applications of the lessons. Homework brings educational benefits for all students, and it helps establish soft skills like time management and organization that are necessary beyond high school graduation. However, sometimes the extra assignments can lead to stress for the student and the family. As homework piles up, some students may find themselves engaging less and less.
In 2013, research conducted by Stanford University demonstrated that students from high-achieving communities experience stress, physical health problems, an imbalance in their lives, and alienation from society as a result of spending too much time on homework. According to the survey data, 56 percent of the students considered homework a primary source of stress. The remaining students viewed tests and the pressure to get good grades as the primary stressors. Notably, less than 1 percent of the students said homework was not a stressor.
The researchers found that excessive homework means students are not able to meet their developmental needs or cultivate other critical life skills at the same time. In other words, students are more likely to give up extracurricular activities, spend less time with friends and family, and stop pursuing their hobbies. In the survey, the researchers also asked students whether they experienced health issues such as headaches, exhaustion, sleep deprivation, weight loss and stomach problems. The student’s short answer survey results showed that a heavy homework load led to sleep deprivation and other health problems.
Balancing schoolwork and a healthy lifestyle can be tricky, especially if the student is also working part-time. Spending too much time on homework can lead to not meeting other physical and social needs, like staying active and interacting with peers. Without an opportunity to socialize, relax, and connect with their support systems, students can become increasingly burnt out. It is crucial to make time for extracurricular activities to refresh the student’s mind and body.
Homework realities during COVID-19
This feeling can be even more complicated when students are doing school work at home all day, because the school building is closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. After spending hours sitting in front of a screen at home, students log off for the day only to face more schoolwork. Now, educators must evaluate if it’s feasible to ask students to do extra work in the same home environment.
Additionally, we must consider the inherent educational inequities that homework can bring. The American Psychological Association (APA) explained that “kids from wealthier homes are more likely to have resources such as computers, internet connections, dedicated areas to do schoolwork and parents who tend to be more educated and more available to help them with tricky assignments. Kids from disadvantaged homes are more likely to work at after school jobs, or to be home without supervision in the evenings while their parents work multiple jobs.”
How can parents help?
While doing the actual work is the student’s responsibility, parents can help their students have a stress-free homework experience. According to Parents.com , parents can help their students in four key ways:
Create a routine
Having a clear and organized homework routine will help your student create and stick to healthy homework habits. Try setting a time to stop working on homework, regardless of how much is left over. It’s important for students to get consistent, high-quality sleep every single night.
Monitor, don’t correct
As mentioned above, homework is ultimately the student’s responsibility. So, parents should only try to make sure their student is on track with completing the assignment and leave it up to the teacher to identify what the student has and has not mastered in class.
Communicate with teachers
However, be sure to communicate homework concerns via phone or email with the teacher. This also helps to show your student that you and their teacher are partnering together as stakeholders in their education.
Lastly, understand that homework stresses are very common and they are likely to arise for you or your student from time to time. If this happens, keep calm and keep going. Sometimes a moment of comfort is all you or your student needs to settle down and get back on track.
While homework is an important part of a student’s education, the benefits of homework can be lost and grades can be affected when students become stressed about how much there is to do. Additionally, valuable time with friends and family can fall by the wayside. As a result, it’s important to come to a happy medium that ensures students understand classroom concepts without becoming overwhelmed. If you or your student is feeling overwhelmed or unmotivated, schedule a visit with the academic counselors at Gateway for advice. Learn more about the full range of student support that Gateway provides here .
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Homework Anxiety Explained
Sometimes kids dread homework because they'd rather be outside playing when they're not at school. But, sometimes a child's resistance to homework is more intense than a typical desire to be having fun, and it can be actually be labeled as homework anxiety: a legitimate condition suffered by some students who feel intense feelings of fear and dread when it comes to doing homework. Read on to learn about what homework anxiety is and whether your child may be suffering from it.
What is Homework Anxiety?
Homework anxiety is a condition in which students stress about and fear homework, often causing them to put homework off until later . It is a self-exacerbating condition because the longer the student puts off the homework, the more anxiety they feel about it, and the more pressure they experience to finish the work with less time. Homework anxiety can cripple some kids who are perfectly capable of doing the work, causing unfinished assignments and grades that slip.
What Causes Homework Anxiety?
There are many causes of homework anxiety, and there can be multiple factors spurring feelings of fear and stress. Some common causes of homework anxiety include:
- Other anxiety issues: Students who tend to suffer anxiety and worry, in general, can begin to associate anxiety with their homework, as well.
- Fear of testing: Often, homework is associated with upcoming tests and quizzes, which affect grades. Students can feel pressure related to being "graded" and avoid homework since it feels weighty and important.
- General school struggle: When students are struggling in school or with grades, they may feel a sense of anxiety about learning and school in general.
- Lack of support: Without a parent, sibling, tutor, or other help at home, students may feel that they won't have the necessary support to complete an assignment.
- Perfectionism: Students who want to perform perfectly in school may get anxious about completing a homework assignment perfectly and, in turn, procrastinate.
Basic Tips for Helping with Homework Anxiety
To help your child with homework anxiety, there are a few basic tips to try. Set time limits for homework, so that students know there is a certain time of the day when they must start and finish assignments. This helps them avoid putting off homework until it feels too rushed and pressured. Make sure your student has support available when doing their work, so they know they'll be able to ask for help if needed. Teaching your child general tips to deal with anxiety can also help, like deep breathing, getting out to take a short walk, or quieting racing thoughts in their mind to help them focus.
How can the Brain Balance Program Help with Homework Anxiety?
Extensive scientific research demonstrates that the brain is malleable, allowing for brain connectivity change and development and creating an opportunity for improvement at any age. Brain Balance has applied this research to develop a program that focuses on building brain connectivity and improving the foundation of development, rather than masking or coping with symptoms.
If you have a child or a teenager who struggles with homework anxiety, an assessment can help to identify key areas for improvement and create an action plan for you and your child. To get started, take our quick, free online assessment by clicking the link below.
Get started with a plan for your child today.
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When Is Homework Stressful? Its Effects on Students’ Mental Health
Are you wondering when is homework stressful? Well, homework is a vital constituent in keeping students attentive to the course covered in a class. By applying the lessons, students learned in class, they can gain a mastery of the material by reflecting on it in greater detail and applying what they learned through homework.
However, students get advantages from homework, as it improves soft skills like organisation and time management which are important after high school. However, the additional work usually causes anxiety for both the parents and the child. As their load of homework accumulates, some students may find themselves growing more and more bored.
Students may take assistance online and ask someone to do my online homework . As there are many platforms available for the students such as Chegg, Scholarly Help, and Quizlet offering academic services that can assist students in completing their homework on time.
Negative impact of homework
There are the following reasons why is homework stressful and leads to depression for students and affect their mental health. As they work hard on their assignments for alarmingly long periods, students’ mental health is repeatedly put at risk. Here are some serious arguments against too much homework.
Homework should be intended to encourage children to express themselves more creatively. Teachers must assign kids intriguing assignments that highlight their uniqueness. similar to writing an essay on a topic they enjoy.
Moreover, the key is encouraging the child instead of criticizing him for writing a poor essay so that he can express himself more creatively.
Lack of sleep
One of the most prevalent adverse effects of schoolwork is lack of sleep. The average student only gets about 5 hours of sleep per night since they stay up late to complete their homework, even though the body needs at least 7 hours of sleep every day. Lack of sleep has an impact on both mental and physical health.
Students learn more effectively while they are having fun. They typically learn things more quickly when their minds are not clouded by fear. However, the fear factor that most teachers introduce into homework causes kids to turn to unethical means of completing their assignments.
The lack of coordination between teachers in the existing educational system is a concern. As a result, teachers frequently end up assigning children far more work than they can handle. In such circumstances, children turn to cheat on their schoolwork by either copying their friends’ work or using online resources that assist with homework.
Homework stress can increase anxiety levels and that could hurt the blood pressure norms in young people . Do you know? Around 3.5% of young people in the USA have high blood pressure. So why is homework stressful for children when homework is meant to be enjoyable and something they look forward to doing? It is simple to reject this claim by asserting that schoolwork is never enjoyable, yet with some careful consideration and preparation, homework may become pleasurable.
No time for personal matters
Students that have an excessive amount of homework miss out on personal time. They can’t get enough enjoyment. There is little time left over for hobbies, interpersonal interaction with colleagues, and other activities.
However, many students dislike doing their assignments since they don’t have enough time. As they grow to detest it, they can stop learning. In any case, it has a significant negative impact on their mental health.
Children are no different than everyone else in need of a break. Weekends with no homework should be considered by schools so that kids have time to unwind and prepare for the coming week. Without a break, doing homework all week long might be stressful.
How do parents help kids with homework?
Encouraging children’s well-being and health begins with parents being involved in their children’s lives. By taking part in their homework routine, you can see any issues your child may be having and offer them the necessary support.
Set up a routine
Your student will develop and maintain good study habits if you have a clear and organized homework regimen. If there is still a lot of schoolwork to finish, try putting a time limit. Students must obtain regular, good sleep every single night.
The student is ultimately responsible for their homework. Because of this, parents should only focus on ensuring that their children are on track with their assignments and leave it to the teacher to determine what skills the students have and have not learned in class.
Listen to your child
One of the nicest things a parent can do for their kids is to ask open-ended questions and listen to their responses. Many kids are reluctant to acknowledge they are struggling with their homework because they fear being labelled as failures or lazy if they do.
However, every parent wants their child to succeed to the best of their ability, but it’s crucial to be prepared to ease the pressure if your child starts to show signs of being overburdened with homework.
Talk to your teachers
Also, make sure to contact the teacher with any problems regarding your homework by phone or email. Additionally, it demonstrates to your student that you and their teacher are working together to further their education.
Homework with friends
If you are still thinking is homework stressful then It’s better to do homework with buddies because it gives them these advantages. Their stress is reduced by collaborating, interacting, and sharing with peers.
Additionally, students are more relaxed when they work on homework with pals. It makes even having too much homework manageable by ensuring they receive the support they require when working on the assignment. Additionally, it improves their communication abilities.
However, doing homework with friends guarantees that one learns how to communicate well and express themselves.
Review homework plan
Create a schedule for finishing schoolwork on time with your child. Every few weeks, review the strategy and make any necessary adjustments. Gratefully, more schools are making an effort to control the quantity of homework assigned to children to lessen the stress this produces.
Finally, be aware that homework-related stress is fairly prevalent and is likely to occasionally affect you or your student. Sometimes all you or your kid needs to calm down and get back on track is a brief moment of comfort. So if you are a student and wondering if is homework stressful then you must go through this blog.
While homework is a crucial component of a student’s education, when kids are overwhelmed by the amount of work they have to perform, the advantages of homework can be lost and grades can suffer. Finding a balance that ensures students understand the material covered in class without becoming overburdened is therefore essential.
Zuella Montemayor did her degree in psychology at the University of Toronto. She is interested in mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.
Psychreg is a digital media company and not a clinical company. Our content does not constitute a medical or psychological consultation. See a certified medical or mental health professional for diagnosis.
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Infographic: How Does Homework Actually Affect Students?
Homework is an important part of engaging students outside of the classroom. How does homework affect students?
It carries educational benefits for all age groups, including time management and organization. Homework also provides students with the ability to think beyond what is taught in class.
The not-so-good news is these benefits only occur when students are engaged and ready to learn. But, the more homework they get, the less they want to engage.
The Negative Effects on Students
Homework can affect students’ health, social life and grades. The hours logged in class, and the hours logged on schoolwork can lead to students feeling overwhelmed and unmotivated. Navigating the line between developing learning skills and feeling frustrated can be tricky.
Homework is an important part of being successful inside and outside of the classroom, but too much of it can actually have the opposite effect. Students who spend too much time on homework are not always able to meet other needs, like being physically and socially active. Ultimately, the amount of homework a student has can impact a lot more than his or her grades.
Find out how too much homework actually affects students.
How Does Homework Affect Students’ Health?
Homework can affect both students’ physical and mental health. According to a study by Stanford University, 56 per cent of students considered homework a primary source of stress. Too much homework can result in lack of sleep, headaches, exhaustion and weight loss. Excessive homework can also result in poor eating habits, with families choosing fast food as a faster alternative.
How Does Homework Affect Students’ Social Life?
Extracurricular activities and social time gives students a chance to refresh their minds and bodies. But students who have large amounts of homework have less time to spend with their families and friends. This can leave them feeling isolated and without a support system. For older students, balancing homework and part-time work makes it harder to balance school and other tasks. Without time to socialize and relax, students can become increasingly stressed, impacting life at school and at home.
How Does Homework Affect Students’ Grades?
After a full day of learning in class, students can become burnt out if they have too much homework. When this happens, the child may stop completing homework or rely on a parent to assist with homework. As a result, the benefits of homework are lost and grades can start to slip.
Too much homework can also result in less active learning, a type of learning that occurs in context and encourages participation. Active learning promotes the analysis and application of class content in real world settings. Homework does not always provide these opportunities, leading to boredom and a lack of problem-solving skills.
Take a look at how homework affects students and how to help with homework.
How Can Parents Help?
Being an active part of children’s homework routine is a major part of understanding feelings and of be able to provide the needed support. As parents, you can help your child have a stress-free homework experience. Sticking to a clear and organized homework routine helps children develop better homework habits as they get older. This routine also comes in handy when homework becomes more difficult and time-consuming.
Learn more about the current world of homework, and how you can help your child stay engaged.
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Check Out These Additional Homework Resources
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Stress and The Dangers of Homework
The anxiety of not completing an assignment that you have been stuck on for the past hour can be overwhelming, right? What if I told you millions of people feel the same way you do and there can be consequences of it, I’m not talking grade wise, I’m talking mentally. Homework as we have experienced causes a great amount of stress which can lead you to a poor mental state, sleep deprivation, and many more bad things. Which can be prevented by decreasing the amount of homework significantly and/or being taught how to combat such stress. [A couple of such ways is by managing time, controlling emotions, and monitoring your motivation.] (https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1054844.pdf)
[Controlling Emotion] (https://www.rewireme.com/brain-insight/how-to-control-your-emotions/)
[Time Management] (https://www.liquidplanner.com/blog/7-essential-time-management-strategies/)
A school can start to teach these things so life can be easier for the students, but not just for them though but their family and their teachers too. A study made in 2017 about [the effects of homework on middle class families] (https://digitalcommons.csp.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1069&=&context=cup_commons_grad_edd&=&sei-redir=1&referer=https%253A%252F%252Fwww.google.com%252Furl%253Fq%253Dhttps%253A%252F%252Fdigitalcommons.csp.edu%252Fcgi%252Fviewcontent.cgi%253Farticle%25253D1069%252526context%25253Dcup_commons_grad_edd%2526sa%253DD%2526source%253Deditors%2526ust%253D1616434140114000%2526usg%253DAOvVaw0FRSYatcLU9NO7fYRvpdUB#search=%22https%3A%2F%2Fdigitalcommons.csp.edu%2Fcgi%2Fviewcontent.cgi%3Farticle%3D1069%26context%3Dcup_commons_grad_edd%22) shows that homework is the leading cause of stress in the household because it’s hard to have a “healthy balance of homework and family life”. This stress and less family time can lead to troubles in a family, and might even lead to divorce if it is disruptive enough.
The Parent Teacher Association (PTA), suggests there to be ten minutes of homework per grade level which is seemed to not be followed, [some kindergarteners are getting up to] (https://www.healthline.com/health-news/children-more-homework-means-more-stress-031114) 25 minutes of homework per day when they even aren’t supposed to get homework at all according to the National Education Association (NEA), and some second and third graders are even getting 28-29 minutes of homework per day taken in a survey in rhode island. It just doesn’t affect younger grades [but college students as] (https://mellowed.com/homework-stress/) well.
The stress can be overwhelming sometimes but the United States is not the only country with a homework problem, Italy, UK, France, and many more suffer the consequences. A survey taken in the UK, in March of 2020 shows that 66% of students in the age range of 8-17 said that “they felt most stressed about homework and/or exams” compared to everything else. Which is pretty alarming considering that this was a survey with almost 2,000 kids, and 66% of 2,000 is 1,320. Just imagine how many people are struggling with it as well on a global level.
Now you might be wondering how can we stop this monstrosity of stress, well looking at countries like [Finland, Japan, and South Korea] (https://www.geekycamel.com/countries-give-less-homework-theyre-successful/#:~:text=Finland,they%20are%20seven%20years%20old.) which are countries that give very little homework per week, ranging from 2.9 hours to 3.9. They mostly rely on trust in the teachers and students, more testing, and new ways to learn that is more beneficial for the students later in life. And it seems to have paid off, Finland, South Korea, and Japan seem to be at the [top in the world for Math and Science at the age of 15.] (https://www.bbc.com/news/education-37716005) So why don’t we start making the change to no homework? Well, that’s the next step, students should start to spread awareness and make petitions to the school board calling for change.
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- How does homework cause stress and depression?
According to a Stanford University research, homework was the leading source of stress for 56% of pupils. Too much schoolwork can lead to sleep deprivation, headaches, tiredness, and weight loss. Excessive studying can often lead to bad eating habits, with families opting for fast food as a speedier option.
Homework can also have negative effects on your mental health. Stress from homework may cause students to turn to drinking alcohol or use drugs to calm themselves down. It is important to set limits for yourself regarding homework hours so you do not get overwhelmed by all the work .
If you are finding it difficult to cope with the amount of homework you have, talk to your teacher or parent about forming a study group. This will help you share information and resources about subjects that you find hard. You could even arrange to meet up once a week to divide up your work between you.
It is vital to take time out for yourself each day. This could be as simple as going for a walk or having a chat with a friend, but it should always include some form of relaxation. If you feel like you need more time than this, consider hiring a personal assistant or part-time job. This will give you extra money to spend on things that make you happy such as shopping trips or movies with friends.
Depression is when you feel low in energy, with thoughts of self-harm and suicide.
Table of Contents
How does homework affect your sleep, what negative effects can homework have, how is homework harmful.
Homework can have an impact on pupils' physical and emotional health . Avoiding homework may be advisable if you want your child to stay healthy.
There are two types of homework: mandatory and voluntary. Mandatory homework is required by your school in order for your child to receive a grade. This includes assignments that need to be done for class discussions or projects. The amount required varies from teacher to teacher and depends on the policy of the school. Generally, schools expect students to do their homework unless they receive written permission from their teacher to miss it.
If your child complains about having too much homework , tell them not to worry about it but instead try to relax and have some fun . Homework can be a problem for many children, but it does not mean that something else is wrong with their school environment . There may be other students at the school who don't like homework or feel the same way, so try not to make things worse by complaining about yours too loudly. Instead, talk with your child about how they are feeling and try to come up with a solution that works for everyone.
It's important to remember that schoolchildren don't sleep more than others.
According to CNN, "the findings were troubling: studies revealed that excessive homework is related with high stress levels, physical health problems, and a lack of balance in children's life; 56 percent of the kids in the survey named homework as a significant stressor in their lives."
The main problem with homework is that it takes up so much time that there isn't enough left for anything else. It also affects how well students do at school because they don't have time to study for tests or do their work properly. Finally, it can lead to depression since kids feel like they aren't able to spend time with their friends or family.
Here are some other issues that can arise from doing too much homework:
It can cause serious health problems if you don't get enough sleep or use the time inefficiently. For example, one study found that teenagers who spent more than 50 hours a year working on assignments were more likely to die before age 40 than those who worked less than 30 hours.
The quality of your education will be affected by how much homework you do. If you spend all night writing an essay, for example, then you won't have any energy left for classes the next day.
In conclusion, doing too much homework can have negative effects on your health and well-being. Make sure that you only do what's necessary and no more.
This in turn can lead to obesity problems down the road.
Homework can be harmful if it's not done properly. Not doing your homework is one thing; failing to complete it satisfactorily is another. If you aren't using the time effectively or you aren't interested in your studies, then you're going to find it difficult to get good grades without putting in a lot of effort.
When you look at the amount of time that schools ask students to spend on their homework, it can seem like a very long period of time. However, this should be divided up into several shorter sessions during which you can really focus on each topic before moving on to the next. Otherwise, you'll end up spending all night working on something that could have been done in a few hours.
It's important to remember that school is supposed to help you prepare for the future and advance your knowledge and skills. That means learning things that will be useful later on when you go job hunting or applying for college. Avoiding homework is never recommended as getting stuck for hours on end trying to work out an answer can lead to anxiety issues as well as depression.
About Article Author
Dr. Hansen has worked in hospitals for over 20 years and is a highly respected surgeon. He specializes in orthopedic surgery, cancer treatment, and general surgical procedures.
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How Does Homework Cause Stress?
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Homework is given to help a child learn fast and to aid his development process. Whatever the student learns at school can be reinforced through homework. However, what if it is too much to handle? If the child feels stressed out due to extra homework, it can lead to mental stress both for the parent and the child. If you are still wondering how homework causes stress, check out these specific situations that you should avoid.
Six Specific Situations That Cause College Students Stress
Students feel overwhelmed when their parents have a lot of demands from them. This is one of the greatest stresses that most college students face. The parents unknowingly put a lot of pressure on the child in terms of performing well. Some parents think that coming first in class is the sure-shot way to success, and they pressure the child to work day and night to achieve this.
The student is deprived of any fun activities, which is important in the child’s overall development. There is no harm in seeking professional help when you think you cannot deliver good quality work. This holds especially true for students who have difficult subjects. For instance, if you are a finance student-facing insurmountable parental pressure, you should seek finance homework help to ace your grades.
Another stressful situation is when the student is asked to submit detailed project assignments. This kind of homework can lead to stress as most of the assignments require research, compiling data from different sources. Time is a great enemy for most students, and therefore excessive homework like this can cause undue stress and less productivity.
College students resort to unfair means and malpractices to deliver their assignments on time. Instead of showcasing their efforts in the project, students copy it from the internet or a friend’s copy. When the teacher spots plagiarism, either the whole assignment is rejected, and the student is asked to re-submit, or in most cases, the student is given a straight zero.
Hours of Homework
Too much homework causes stress that can be easily avoided if teachers are more considerate and empathetic towards their needs. Apart from project assignments, students are also given daily tasks to complete. Each class teacher thinks it is mandatory to give homework daily. After a hectic day at college, they have to give time to the tasks when they reach home.
If the homework can be completed within 10 minutes or less, it is quite helpful in retaining all the lessons learned at school. However, if you require hours to complete only one subject’s homework, it robs you of your creativity and personal development. Students become nerds and bookworms, not helping them in practical life.
Managing Personal Life Balance
If much time on homework is spent, then there is nothing much left to do. Students are unable to juggle between their student and personal life. A well-balanced personality needs to manage both study, relationships, and physical activity. All work and no play make Jack a dull boy is an adage. If the student’s time is consumed only in completing homework tasks, it causes unnecessary stress as the student cannot play his/her favourite game or spend time with family.
Poor Sleep and Dietary Habits
Sleep deprivation is a serious problem that has far-reaching effects. The student feels stressed out, but it can cause depression and anxiety, leading to poor dietary habits. If the teacher is giving extra homework that students can’t handle, then a lot of the precious time is spent completing it. A bad sleep pattern can affect both mental and physical health problems. Instead of learning more, you end up retaining less due to stress.
Students also face a lack of organization and discipline. Stressful homework eats up most of the time, and the student is unable to strike a balance. There is no discipline in life, and due to lack of organization, the student can become irresponsible. Losing important documents, books, and coursework-related information is all due to the stress that excessive homework causes.
How to Deal with Excessive Homework Stress
Go for a schedule.
One of the most important tips is to go with a schedule. Don’t just spend time completing your homework. Give space and time to each activity. Reserve some time for rest. Play a game that involves physical activity in the evening and only with a fresh mind sit down to complete your homework.
Always Do The Easy Homework Task First
A great managing tip is to take one task at a time. Don’t be hard on yourself. Only do the task that you think you can handle well. This will help you complete your task one at a time. You should always do the task that seems the easiest first. This makes you feel accomplished. It has a positive impact on you, and the rest of the homework becomes less stressful to complete.
Just pick and choose the one that you think is easier than the rest. Allot a time to complete that homework. Leave the most difficult one for the end. Don’t be ashamed to ask an elder’s help to finish your assignment if you need help. You can also use the net to gather up sources. However, remember, you must write it on your own to ensure plagiarism-free work.
Break It Down Into Smaller Parts
Another effective tip that helps students ace their grades is to break down the topic into smaller parts. If the teacher has asked you to read the next chapter, then you can read some of it while going back home and the rest of it in the evening with a fresh mind. You should also make the most of your time. Instead of wasting your precious time on the school bus, you can take a quick look at your homework and complete the reading part while commuting back home.
Procrastination is the worst enemy that causes problems in student life and professional and personal life. Don’t keep on thinking about completing the task. If the teacher has given much homework that needs to be completed within a week, don’t put it off until the last day. Alternatively, if it is a project assignment, then reserve a time slot for it every day. Do it bit by bit instead of doing it all in one go. Procrastination can cause even more stress. Leaving everything for the last day hits the panic button. You might collapse on the last day and submit substandard work to the teacher.
Organize a Homework Group
Don’t let the stress take you. You can ask for help from peers and friends. Make a group and discuss the daily tasks you get in the group with your friends. They are the best people to guide you since they are in it as well. When you organize a homework group, all the students and friends will also suggest how they delivered the assignment. If it is group work, then it becomes easier to collaborate and coordinate.
FAQs About Homework Stress
Will homework make me stressed.
If it can be done within 10 minutes, then it doesn’t cause much stress. However, hours of homework can lead to stress that can be easily avoided. To avoid stress, you may ideally stick to the easy life-hacks covered in this post.
How does homework lead to anxiety?
Excessive homework does! Homework can cause undue stress if it is too much. Feeling anxious all the time and not feeling accomplished are some of the signs of stress and anxiety.
Should I do my homework in one go?
A breathless endeavor can save you time. However, it will have you cut corners on quality. So, take short breaks, but don’t extend them to the point where procrastination may take over.
Does Homework Cause Mental Health Problems?
Yes, it can cause loss of concentration, hard-time memorizing and retaining information. Most students also feel depressed and unaccomplished.
How Does Homework Negatively Affect Students?
Apart from mental health problems, there are other behavioral problems. Students find it difficult to talk to other people, maintain relationships. It can also lead to poor dietary habits and sleep deprivation.
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What to Know About Seasonal Depression
If you notice drastic shifts in your mood during certain times of the year, you could have seasonal affective disorder. Here are answers to your top questions about the condition.
By Hannah Seo
The fall and winter months often signal the season of celebration and holidays. But for many, the darker, colder days herald another type of period: one of fatigue, lethargy and depression.
Seasonal affective disorder, or SAD — a type of depression that occurs with the changing of the seasons — can affect up to 10 percent of people in the United States , depending on where they live. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about seasonal affective disorder, with answers from experts.
What exactly is seasonal affective disorder?
“One big, common misconception about SAD is that it’s just the ‘winter blues,’” said Kelly Rohan, a professor of psychological science and a clinical psychologist at the University of Vermont. When the days get grayer and colder and the holidays are around the corner, it’s not unusual to experience temporary feelings of malaise, tiredness or stress. But seasonal affective disorder is much more serious — a form of clinical depression, Dr. Rohan said — with symptoms that can last longer, and that come and go with the seasons.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health , you may have seasonal affective disorder if you experience certain symptoms that start and stop during specific months, and that occur for at least two consecutive years. These can include near-constant and daily feelings of depression, loss of interest in activities you used to enjoy, changes to your appetite or weight, sluggishness and low energy, trouble falling asleep or oversleeping during the day, or even thoughts of death or suicide.
Most people who have seasonal affective disorder have winter-pattern SAD (or winter depression), where symptoms begin in the late fall or early winter and go away during the spring and summer. But SAD can also occur during the spring and summer months , called summer-pattern SAD (or summer depression).
SAD is much more common in women than it is in men, and in those living in the northern regions of the United States — like Alaska or New England — than in those living in Southern regions, like Florida. It can also sometimes run in families.
“People may not appreciate how severely someone who has SAD is affected,” said Dr. Paul Desan, a psychiatrist at the Yale School of Medicine. For some people, he added, “their life just shuts down for half the year.”
What causes seasonal affective disorder?
For those with winter SAD, shorter, darker days are what trigger depressive symptoms, Dr. Rohan said. But experts don’t know exactly why this happens.
A leading theory has to do with a shift in the biological clock. Normally, the body produces melatonin at night, which helps promote sleep. When the levels of melatonin taper off as sunrise approaches, that helps people wake up. But if you have winter SAD, melatonin peaks later and lingers for longer into the morning, making it harder to wake up and leaving you fatigued and groggy. Because you don’t reach peak wakefulness until later in the day, it’s harder to fall asleep once evening comes — perpetuating a cycle of insomnia, inadequate sleep and fatigue, and exacerbating depressive symptoms.
Most people who are vulnerable to SAD are most likely always susceptible to feeling down, said Kathryn Roecklein, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Pittsburgh. But in the winter, light levels fall below a threshold and suddenly things are off balance.
There’s also some evidence that the negative anticipation of shorter days — thinking, for instance, “I just don’t function well in the winter” or “I’m going to start feeling poorly soon,” Dr. Roecklein said — can combine with biological effects to create a self-fulfilling prophecy.
How long does seasonal depression last?
While this can vary from person to person, SAD symptoms can linger for quite a while — up to five months for some, said Dr. Lily Yan, a professor of psychology and neuroscience at Michigan State University.
Most people who have winter SAD will begin noticing symptoms between October and November, Dr. Rohan said. But if you live in parts of the country where people are more susceptible, you may notice them earlier in the fall. Stressful life events, like work instability or grieving a loved one, might also kick off depressive episodes earlier than usual.
The most severe symptoms tend to occur in January and February, Dr. Yan said. Some experts think this happens because of the accumulated effects of SAD over time, she said. The longer you have symptoms, the worse they get. But people tend to start feeling better once spring and early summer roll around.
Symptoms of summer-pattern SAD, which is much less common, tend to start in the spring and end around the beginning of fall.
What are the best ways to manage seasonal depression?
The good news, experts say, is that there are several evidence-backed ways to find relief.
Bright light therapy
“Bright light treatment first thing in the morning dramatically improves the vast majority of people with seasonal affective disorder,” Dr. Desan said. This involves sitting in front of a light therapy box, which mimics outdoor light, for about 30 minutes every day right when you wake up, preferably early in the morning. This should stimulate your body to produce the right hormones to increase your wakefulness and alertness to get you through the day, Dr. Desan said.
Just make sure to use it properly. If you don’t use it early enough, it may not work; and if you use it too late in the day, it could exacerbate insomnia, Dr. Rohan said. Most experts recommend using light therapy lamps before 8 a.m.
Plenty of lamps out there won’t do you any good, Dr. Desan said. When searching for a light therapy lamp, you want one that advertises 10,000 lux brightness — the equivalent of a bright summer morning. A good light therapy lamp should also be “full spectrum,” he said, meaning it emits light that closely mimics natural morning sunlight. Unfortunately, it’s challenging to know exactly what you’re getting, since light therapy lamps aren’t regulated. To help guide buyers, Dr. Desan’s lab at Yale has clinically vetted a number of lamps, and listed its recommendations on its website.
If you think you have seasonal affective disorder, consult with a therapist or psychiatrist before deciding on a treatment plan. They can offer guidance on the best plan for you — and if it involves bright light therapy, they can teach you how to do it properly, Dr. Rohan added.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (C.B.T.)
C.B.T., a form of talk therapy that aims to shift faulty or unhelpful ways of thinking, can also be beneficial, Dr. Rohan said. If you say things like, “I hate winter” during a session, she said, the therapist will try to reposition those negative thoughts. “Even if we could take it down a notch to, ‘I prefer summer to winter,’” she said, that can result in a big shift in symptoms and mood.
Because cognitive behavioral therapy for SAD involves retraining your negative associations with darker months, it is the only treatment that could have long term benefits after doing it just once, Dr. Roecklein said. “It works in the winter when that person comes in for a treatment,” she said, “but then it also protects them from depression the next winter and the winter after that.”
Seasonal depression can also be treated with antidepressant medications, like the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors fluoxetine (Prozac), citalopram (Celexa), sertraline (Zoloft), paroxetine (Paxil) and escitalopram (Lexapro).
Bupropion (Wellbutrin), another type of antidepressant medication, is the only drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration to prevent recurrences of seasonal major depressive episodes. If prescribed this medication for winter SAD, you would take it once a day from fall to early spring.
If you’re tempted to try certain supplements like folic acid, B12 or vitamin D, don’t waste your money, Dr. Roecklein said. Unless you have a true deficiency, she said, there is “zero evidence that taking supplements” will work for treating or preventing seasonal affective disorder.
A dose of the outdoors
Simply going outside can also help boost your mood, Dr. Yan said. Even if it looks a little gray, the quality of light on a winter morning will be better than what you can get in your home. And an excursion will most likely boost your mental health too, she added.
Replacing your favorite summertime activities with similar wintertime activities can “bring a sense of enjoyment into life,” Dr. Rohan said. If your favorite summer activity is lounging by a lake, she said, you can still do a version of that — maybe strap on some snowshoes and walk around, or try skating or sledding. “It may take some creativity and problem-solving,” she said, but it will help you find a way to positively engage with the season.
Hannah Seo is a reporting fellow for The Times, covering mental and physical health and wellness. More about Hannah Seo
Managing Anxiety and Stress
Stay balanced in the face of stress and anxiety with our collection of tools and advice..
First, bring calm and clarity into your life with these 10 tips . Next, identify what you are dealing with: Is it worry, anxiety or stress ?
How much anxiety is too much? Here is how to establish whether you should see a professional about it .
Drawing, music and writing can elevate your mood and benefit your mental health. Here are some easy ways to welcome them into your life .
Stress is unavoidable in modern life, but it doesn’t have to get you down. This guide can help you keep in check .
Bad feelings can affect your well-being, but your perspective on those negative emotions can play an even bigger role in your mental health. Learn how to accept them .
Breathing correctly is a skill — and learning to control it can improve your health, mood and well-being. Try these simple exercises .
It’s normal for worries and fears to surface at night. This is what you can do if your overactive mind is keeping you awake .
New York Post
What is a stress rash? How to manage hives caused by anxiety
Posted: November 3, 2023 | Last updated: November 3, 2023
They’re red, they’re itchy — and they’re coming for you, just when you need them the least.
Hives are a common skin condition, and they typically show up as a red, itchy rash.
Known to doctors as urticaria, hives can be caused by a wide range of factors including spicy-hot foods, heat or cold, skin products, laundry detergents or high levels of stress.
“While we recognize, as dermatologists, that hives can be caused by stress, it is not our ‘first-explanation,’” Dr. Whitney High , a professor of dermatopathology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, told CNN .
“If we can’t find any other cause for hives, then it is reasonable to consider stress,” High added.
And a 2018 study found that people with chronic hives were more likely to experience high levels of stress — and their symptoms included more intense itching.
A stress rash usually appears as raised bumps that look red or pinkish, depending on your skin tone. They can show up anywhere on your body, but are most common on the neck, chest or torso, face and arms. In some people, they’re accompanied by swelling of the lips or eyelids.
Hives can range from tiny dots to large welts, and may form in tightly packed clusters. They’re usually itchy, and in some people they cause a burning or tingling sensation.
People who have been diagnosed with a skin condition such as eczema or psoriasis may find themselves particularly prone to stress-induced skin flare-ups.
When you’re under stress, your body responds by releasing cortisol — known as the “stress hormone” — and other compounds including histamines.
“We don’t know how or why the skin responds to your stress hormones, but it’s not a direct relationship,” Dr. Rachel Nazarian, a New York-based dermatologist, told Health . “We may not know exactly why the trigger happens, but we know how to fix it.”
Fortunately, stress hives are usually transient, and will diminish or disappear once the source of stress is alleviated — often within 24 hours.
There are over-the-counter treatments for hives, including oral antihistamines like Benadryl or Zyrtec, or cortisone cream to manage the inflammation that results in itchy, reddish skin.
“There are also some people who require a stronger medication to control the histamine release, so they may want to try a prescription antihistamine or prescription cortisone cream,” Nazarian added.
“Some areas have thinner skin that is easy to treat like your arms or legs. But thicker areas like your hands or feet, an over-the counter-cream doesn’t penetrate as well.”
Experts also suggest removing any irritating factors like heat or tight-fitting clothes around the area of your stress rash. “Heat is known to be an aggravant, as well as pressure,” Nazarian said.
Nazarian and other health experts recommend that people with severe or long-lasting cases of stress hives see a dermatologist or other health care professional for relief.
And, of course, you can help to prevent a stress rash by relieving stress in your life. Try using one or more of the following methods:
- Exercise and sports
- Limit screen time and social media use
- Yoga, tai chi and deep breathing
- Seek out a friend for a walk or other activity
- Listen to music or read a book
- Play an audiobook or podcast
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Higher parenting stress for dads working from home during pandemic
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- Mental Health
Forty percent of parents who worked remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic reported higher parenting stress compared with only 27 percent of parents who worked onsite, reports a new survey from scientists at Northwestern University and Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago.
The study results revealed a gender difference: Fathers who worked from home were twice as likely to report that parenting was stressful all or most of the time compared to fathers who worked onsite. Parenting stress for mothers who worked at home was slightly higher, but it did not reach statistical significance.
The study found no differences in mental or general health between parents who worked remotely or onsite.
“Our survey results show that teleworking during the pandemic was associated with more parenting stress, especially for fathers,” said lead author Dr. John James Parker, an assistant professor of pediatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and a pediatrician at Lurie Children’s. “This might be a reflection of societal expectations that men should prioritize work obligations over family needs, which creates additional stress for fathers working from home.”
What can we all do about it?
The study authors recommend parents reflect on their family and work situation and try to find an arrangement that limits stress and promotes wellbeing.
“This can be as simple as putting a noise-cancelling machine in the workspace, rearranging schedules to limit distractions and planning time for parents to step away from work to be fully engaged with their children,” said Parker, who also is an internist at Northwestern Medicine.
“Employers could provide support to fathers by offering more flexibility and recognizing that both parents need more work/life balance,” Parker said. “Employers also could encourage parents who work from home, especially men, to take advantage of employee assistance programs if they are experiencing high levels of stress. This is important, since parents’ stress is linked to negative parental health and child developmental outcomes.”
The study was published Nov. 3 in JAMA Network Open . The survey included 1,060 parents from all 77 neighborhoods in Chicago.
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