Videos

High Achieving Schools, High Stress Students

November 2019

Full interview with Dr. Nina Kumar: https://youtu.be/SHW0zx8D_BY

BOSTON, Mass. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — It’s a paradox for parents. You want your child to go to a high school that offers lots of opportunities, like advanced placement or college-level classes, and a wide variety of extra-curricular activities. But researchers are finding that these high-achieving schools are producing students that run the risk of burning out.

For some students in school districts that serve affluent, white-collar families, the educational opportunities are endless.

High school senior, Emma Johnston, told Ivanhoe she takes, “AP calculus, AP physics II, and AP gov.”

Add a part-time job, sports, and community service to a heavy course load and bedtime never happens before midnight.

“But if I have a test the next day or I’m not super confident on the material, it could be two or three in the morning,” detailed high school senior, Grace Koppelman.

Nina Kumar is the CEO of Authentic Connections, a group that studies the disconnect at high-achieving schools districts where students have high standardized test scores and admissions to some of the nation’s top universities.

“Students at these schools often suffer from higher rates of depression, anxiety, substance use, rule breaking, things like cheating and stealing, than other students nationally,” said Kumar.

Kumar said at some schools, the rates of anxiety are six times higher than the national average. What should parents watch for?

“When you have debilitating anxiety, when you have a kid who doesn’t want to go to school, that’s too much,” Kumar told Ivanhoe.

Parents want their children to compete at high levels to succeed. So, what can they do? Kumar said parents should keep a balanced view of their kid’s accomplishments. Don’t focus on external goals, like getting into a prestigious college, or a future high-paying career. Talk about the benefits of a class or activity. Is it fun? Does it bring the child joy? Does it connect him with others? For students, additional support to help them cope while they navigate the high school years.

Kumar and other social scientists say strong parent-child relationships and a low level of parental criticism are also predictors of how well teens will adjust. The researchers also say high school is a time when parents should continue to monitor their kids and be clear that there will be repercussions for drug and alcohol use.

Contributors to this news report include: Cyndy McGrath, Supervising and Field Producer; Ken Ashe, Editor; Roque Correa and Kirk Manson, Videographer.

Produced by Child Trends News Service in partnership with Ivanhoe Broadcast News and funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation.

(Source: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/329674070_How_Can_You_Help_Children_Thrive_in_a_World_Focused_on_Success)


Spanish Translation

BOSTON, Mass. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — Es quizás la paradoja del padre moderno. Queremos que nuestros hijos vayan al colegio que les ofrezca la mayor cantidad de oportunidades, tales como clases a nivel universitario y una amplia variedad de actividades extraescolares. Pero los expertos están determinando que los alumnos de estas escuelas de alto rendimiento están en peligro de sufrir un desgaste mental.

En los distritos escolares en zonas donde residen familias con altos ingresos, las oportunidades educativas son innumerables. Pero si a los estudios y la tarea le sumamos un trabajo después del colegio, actividades deportivas y servicio comunitario, el día de un estudiante no se termina antes de la medianoche. Nina Kumar es la directora ejecutiva de Authentic Connections, un grupo que estudia como estudiantes en escuelas de alto rendimiento con buenas notas y que son aceptados en las mejores universidades, tienden a sufrir de depresión, ansiedad y   uso de sustancias controladas.

Según Kumar en algunos colegios de alto rendimiento los niveles de ansiedad entre el estudiantado son seis veces más altos que el promedio nacional. ¿Qué pueden hacer los padres? Kumar recomienda comenzar por mantener una visión balanceada de los logros. No enfocarse estrictamente en metas externas, como que sus hijos entren en una universidad de renombre o estudien una carrera bien pagada. En vez, preguntarles si esa clase o actividad es divertida, si les produce placer, o les ayuda a conectar con otros jóvenes.

Según Kumar y otros sociólogos, un fuerte vínculo entre padres e hijos y un bajo nivel de críticas por parte de los padres es un indicador de cuan bien se adaptarán sus hijos.

Los expertos indican que los padres deben de continuar supervisando estrechamente a sus hijos y dejar sentado que el uso de drogas y alcohol les traerá consecuencias.

Los contribuyentes a este reportaje incluyen: Cyndy McGrath, Supervisora  Y Productora de Campo;Ken Ashe, Editor; Roque Correa Y Kirk Manson, Camarografo.

Producido por Child Trends News Service en asocio con Ivanhoe Broadcast News y auspiciado por una beca de la National Science Foundation.