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Student likeability affects academic stress and depression

A new study finds that students who do well at school are more popular and also more emotionally secure than their peers. Conversely, students who are less liked (or who perceive that they are less liked) struggle academically. This is according to research conducted at the University of Missouri-Columbia.

This was based on a focused survey of teachers and students. The researchers hope that such information can be used to find ways to help students address academic and social challenges, especially before such school-based pressures have a lasting negative impact.

This research is outlined in the journal Child Development (“Does Child Likeability Mediate the Link Between Academic Competence and Depressive Symptoms in Early Elementary School?”).

There are other mental health issues which affect school students. For example, a study conducted by Brainly, an online homework help platform for students, based on a poll of 1,000 high school students throughout the U.S. , and provided to Digital Journal, discovered that stress, wellbeing, and mental health were major issues for students. For example, the survey found that 92 percent of students are stressed about schoolwork and connected with this, 74 percent of students indicated that they become stressed because they cannot find the right answer or do not have a resource to help them.

With specific subjects, the student population stated that mathematics causes them the most anxiety (raised by 42 percent of the students) followed by English (at 22 percent).

One reason for rising stress levels appears to be related to sleep and feelings of tiredness. With this issue, 78 percent of students reported that they were not getting enough sleep each night. From this, unsurprisingly a high proportion (65 percent) of students said that they feel constantly tired or low energy.

The survey also extended to students feeling about the future. A relatively large proportion felt that the school system was not providing them for what they needed for the future, with 43 percent of students stating that teachers were not preparing them to do well in life outside of school. Moreover, 55 percent of students reported feeling either sad or unclear about their life or purpose.

Such data indicates that mental health problems are as common, if not more so, among students as they are in the general population.

Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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