Friday, Jul 20th

Last updateThu, 19 Jul 2018 7am

You are here: Home Content Parenting High Schoolers Even More Stressed than Medical Students
first
  
last
 
 
start
stop
Doing Business in Today's China

Doing Business in Today's China

A lot has changed since my first trip to China 31 years ago. Back t...

Police Report: Woman Scammed Out of $2K by Dating Site Contact Posing as Scarsdale Bank Branch Manager

Police Report: Woman Scammed Out of $2K by Dating Site Contact Posing as Scarsdale Bank Branch Manager

On July 14, a 32-year-old New Jersey Avenue woman reported she was ...

Scarsdale Forum Committee Releases Report on 2014 and 2016 Property Tax Revaluations

Scarsdale Forum Committee Releases Report on 2014 and 2016 Property Tax Revaluations

Following years of controversy in Scarsdale about two property tax ...

Wrongfully Convicted Man Freed as a Result of Scarsdale Grad's Work

Wrongfully Convicted Man Freed as a Result of Scarsdale Grad's Work

Sam Hershey SHS'01 A 2001 Scarsdale High School graduate made headlin...

Melissa Feinberg Hired as Assistant Principal at Fox Meadow School

Melissa Feinberg Hired as Assistant Principal at Fox Meadow School

Assistant Superintendent Drew Patrick announced that the district h...

first
  
last
 
 
start
stop

High Schoolers Even More Stressed than Medical Students

IMG 3797Dr. Stuart Slavin, Associate Dean for Curriculum at the St. Louis University School of Medicine brought surprising news to the staff of Scarsdale High School, who had gathered on March 24, their staff conference day, to listen to his findings on student stress and anxiety. Scarsdale teachers, deans and health professionals already knew that their high school students were stressed, but just how stressed?

Slavin reported that he had done surveys of medical students and high school students, and much to his surprise he learned that high school students suffer from even more depression and anxiety than first year medical students. His work began with medical students and in 2014 he presented findings that showed that depression among medical school students is significant, affecting between 20 and 30 percent of medical students in the U.S., and potentially compromising their mental health for years to come. More recently, a study of 1,403 high school students in the Bay Area revealed that 54% showed symptoms of moderate to severe depression and 80% had moderate to severe anxiety. Slavin said, ""This is so far beyond what you would typically see in an adolescent population ...it's unprecedented."

But Slavin didn't come to Scarsdale only to validate the issue. He also delivered a hopeful message. The stress is not something we're powerless to control. He shared some successful and low-cost strategies that were used to reduce stress at the medical school and challenged the SHS staff to think about how they could implement similar tactics to improve the quality of life for students at SHS and possibly improve their academic results.

At the medical school, Slavin and his team allowed students to take some of the hardest courses on a pass/fail grading system. Human anatomy is one of the most difficult for new students and the school switched to pass/fail and found that students' anxiety decreased while their retention of important information increased. They also gave students more time to pursue their own interests and created small learning groups to strengthen connections. They looked at the curriculum to see if they could teach less material. According to Slavin, teaching "more does not always lead to a better outcome."

By making small changes, the faculty witnessed significant decreases in the anxiety level of the student body while at the same time, there was an improvement in the students' national board scores.

Slavin was so excited about the results that he shared what he learned with the administration of his daughter's high school in St. Louis where he served on the board. They listened but made no changes in their policy. He then went on to survey students at Irvington High School – in the Bay Area of California where he found that levels of anxiety and depression were higher among high school students than medical school students.

What were the causes of high school students' anxiety? Not surprisingly, the number one factor was the pressure to get into a prestigious college, followed by time pressure, pressure students put on themselves, pressure not to disappoint parents, fear about the amount of material students need to learn and competition.

Slavin believes the antidote lies in "cognitive restructuring," which involves changing the way students think and feel. He contends that "adolescents are filled with cognitive distortions," and that parents and teachers need to help them to change their emotional reactions to events. He emphasized mindfulness, reflection and resilience. According to Slavin, "Perfectionists have a much higher rate of anxiety and depression because they set the bar unrealistically high."

Stress-reducing tactics for the high school could include limits on the amount of homework, less testing and giving students time in school to study. Slavin also said parents should make sure their children get enough sleep and even permit them to miss a deadline if it gets in the way of sleep.

This talk was just one in a series to address student stress. On Wednesday April 6 at 7:30 pm, Vicki Abeles, who produced the movie "Race to Nowhere," and recently wrote "Beyond Measure" will speak at the Scarsdale Middle School about systemic stress, the obsession with achievement and the toll on student's well-being.

BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS

Good Work

SETTING

Scarsdale Swimmers to Cross Long Island Sound to Raise Funds for Cancer Research

Scarsdale Swimmers to Cross Long Island Sound to Raise Funds for Cancer Research

Michael Zeller, Amanda Rachlin, Doug Rachlin, Joe Kaufman, Joel Talish, Carol Wolfe, Eldad Blaustein, Josh Glantz, John Needham Next week,...

Read More

Around Town

SETTING

Low Income Students to Receive Free Dorm Supplies from Grad Bag on July 20

Low Income Students to Receive Free Dorm Supplies from Grad Bag on July 20

When you are the first in your family to go to college, there is already a lot to worry about financially, so it was a huge relief to Nas...

Read More

Neighborhood News

SETTING

Scarsdale Forum Committee Releases Report on 2014 and 2016 Property Tax Revaluations

Scarsdale Forum Committee Releases Report on 2014 and 2016 Property Tax Revaluations

Following years of controversy in Scarsdale about two property tax revaluations in 2014 and 2016, a committee of the Scarsdale Forum stud...

Read More

On Our Minds

SETTING

Wrongfully Convicted Man Freed as a Result of Scarsdale Grad's Work

Wrongfully Convicted Man Freed as a Result of Scarsdale Grad's Work

Sam Hershey SHS'01 A 2001 Scarsdale High School graduate made headlines this week for his success in freeing a man who had been wrongfully c...

Read More

On Our Radar

SETTING

Doing Business in Today's China

Doing Business in Today's China

A lot has changed since my first trip to China 31 years ago. Back then, I was an international banking officer covering Asia. I used a ma...

Read More

Parenting

SETTING

Melissa Feinberg Hired as Assistant Principal at Fox Meadow School

Melissa Feinberg Hired as Assistant Principal at Fox Meadow School

Assistant Superintendent Drew Patrick announced that the district has hired an assistant principal for Fox Meadow School. Melissa Feinber...

Read More

Village Voices

SETTING

50th Anniversary Celebration at the Scarsdale Pool this Weekend

50th Anniversary Celebration at the Scarsdale Pool this Weekend

The Scarsdale Pool Complex will celebrate their 50th Season with a variety of festivities this weekend! All Scarsdale residents are invit...

Read More

Shout it Out

SETTING

Police Use Phone Alert System In An Effort To Locate Missing Man

Police Use Phone Alert System In An Effort To Locate Missing Man

On July 11, police Scarsdale Police used “A Child is Missing Alert Program,” in an effort to locate a missing elderly man. The program ge...

Read More

School News

SETTING

Board of Ed Elects New Leaders and Approves Synthetic Turf for Butler Field

Board of Ed Elects New Leaders and Approves Synthetic Turf for Butler Field

The 2018-19 Board of Education: Left to Right: Bill Natbony, Alison Singer, Nina Cannon, Scott Silberfein, Chris Morin, Pam Fuehrer and L...

Read More

Schools

SETTING

Where are the Kindergartners? School District Experiencing Enrollment Dip

Where are the Kindergartners? School District Experiencing Enrollment Dip

If current trends hold, the Scarsdale School district may have the lowest enrollment in the last ten years when school opens in September...

Read More

The Goods

SETTING

Lulu's Cake Boutique Creates Life-Sized Replica of Marilyn Monroe

Lulu's Cake Boutique Creates Life-Sized Replica of Marilyn Monroe

Lulu¹s of Scarsdale was recently called on to create the centerfold for this year¹s Edible Hudson Valley #Foodporn themed edition. Never ...

Read More

Real Estate

SETTING

Real Estate: Home Sales Figures for the First Half of 2018

Real Estate: Home Sales Figures for the First Half of 2018

The number of home sales is off for the first half of the year in both Scarsdale and Edgemont.

Reports show that in the Scarsdale School D...

Read More

Today's News

SETTING

Police Report: Woman Scammed Out of $2K by Dating Site Contact Posing as Scarsdale Bank Branch Manager

Police Report: Woman Scammed Out of $2K by Dating Site Contact Posing as Scarsdale Bank Branch Manager

On July 14, a 32-year-old New Jersey Avenue woman reported she was “scammed” out of $2,000 by a man and woman who claimed to work for Cha...

Read More

Arts and Entertainment

SETTING

Fall off the Bone BBQ and More at Smokehouse Tailgate Grill

Fall off the Bone BBQ and More at Smokehouse Tailgate Grill

With the warm days of summer upon us, we think of barbecues and grilled treats. Enjoy the taste of bbq without the fuss of preparing it y...

Read More

People

SETTING

Changing of the Guard at Fox Meadow School

Changing of the Guard at Fox Meadow School

The Scarsdale School District is wasting no time filling two unexpected vacancies at Fox Meadow Elementary School.

In June, both Principal...

Read More

first
  
last
 
 
start
stop

Programs for Scarsdale Kids