Is the teen in your life stressed out? You’re not alone. According to a recent survey conducted by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in partnership with the Harvard School of Public Health and National Public Radio, almost 40% of parents say their high-schooler is having stress from the demands of achieving good grades in honors and advanced placement courses. There can be considerable pressure, some self-imposed, to get 4.0 and higher grade point averages in order to increase their chances of getting into highly ranked colleges and getting scholarships. A number of high school students discuss spending 12 hours or more a day on school work.  A survey by the American Psychological Association also found that doing well in school was the most common source of stress for teens (43%), followed by family financial difficulties (31%). 

Signs that a student is stressed or stressed out may include suffering from headaches, stomachaches and tiredness from lack of sleep. It’s important that students have balance in their lives. Parents can help them achieve this by: 1) watching for signs of school-related stress; 2) teaching their children time management and organizational skills; 3) looking at whether your child is overscheduled; 4) promoting getting adequate sleep, physical activity and family time; and 5) making sure that parental pressure isn’t contributing to student stress. 

Check out our Power Me A2Z website for tips for young women, and a fact sheet developed by the John Hopkins Center for Adolescent Health on teen stress.  If you’d like to find out more about helping teens who may be experiencing extreme stress or other related mental health challenges, check out our Mental Health First Aid program.