Almost half of schoolchildren suffering from school-related stress - study

Schulstress in der Schule und die Auswirkungen
Schulstress (© siehe Quellen)

In a representative study commissioned by the health insurance provider DAK, the Institute for Therapy and Health Research (IFT-Nord) examined the physical and mental wellbeing as well as the health-related behaviours of schoolchildren in Germany, interviewing approximately 7,000 students in years 5 to 10 from six federal states.

A key finding of the study was that 43 per cent of the pupils surveyed described the pressure of school as too high and claimed to suffer from stress at school. Girls (49 per cent) are affected more frequently than boys (37 per cent). Symptoms of school-related stress reported by the students include headaches, stomach aches, backache and sleep problems. Additionally, the study found that both stress and the associated physical symptoms increase as pupils progress through school.

Consumption of energy drinks, alcohol and tobacco
In another worrying finding, the study revealed that many children consume energy drinks before or during the school day, with 61 per cent of the pupils surveyed saying they have drunk energy drinks at least once. Even younger schoolchildren are not exempt; 26 per cent of those in year 5 (aged approximately 10 to 11) and 45 per cent of year 6 pupils (aged approximately 11 to 12) have tried these high-sugar, caffeinated drinks.

Of the survey participants, 59 per cent had already consumed alcohol, with a range of 22 per cent of year 5 schoolchildren to 89 per cent of respondents in year 10. Roughly half (47 per cent) of this latter group, aged around 15 to 16, smoke or have tried cigarette smoking.

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Image Credit: Picture by geralt / CCO
Information sources [only German]: Deutschlandfunk, DAK Pressemitteilung, Studie PDF