Schools as a source of stress to children: An analysis of causal and ameliorative influences

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An analysis of factors leading schools to be a significant source of stress to children is presented. Debilitating school stress is seen as linked to forces, including some in prominent movements for school "reform," that push schools to overemphasize academic acceleration, competition, evaluation, and test-based accountability. The paradoxical effects of these forces are to impede acquisition of academic skills and minimize opportunities for children to develop crucial competencies needed for citizenship, responsible adulthood, parenthood, and management of the complex world of work. Recommendations based on developmental and empirical considerations are presented to reduce the debilitating stress in our schools. The tenacious leadership and coordinated, sustained planning required to enact some of these recommendations is noted and encouraged.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)393-407
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of School Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1989

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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