Stress, Teens and School

Teens experience a high level of stress during the school year, according to a survey from the American Psychological Association. For a more visual representation of these numbers, check out our 'Stress, Teens & School infographic.'

Here are some numbers about stress, teens and school. 

27% of teens report experiencing extreme stress during the school year.

34% expect their stress to increase during the school year.

The average stress level for teens is 5.8 out of 10, however the considered healthy stress level is 3.9 out of 10.


So what are some stressors that teens face?

  • Schoolwork: Teens often stress particularly about their grades and GPA as well as testing when it comes to schoolwork. The pressure to get a certain GPA, especially for applying to college, causes a lot of teens to worry. Also, due to standardized testing and testing that does not showcase every student's individual intelligence and learning style, many teens become anxious about taking tests and the importance of testing for their GPA.
  • Social Issues: Social life and the pressures that come with it during the teen years can cause any teen to become overly stressed. Issues such as bullying, making friends and peer pressure can lead to extreme stress as well as other mental health problems such as depression and suicidal thoughts. It's important to recognize the influence social issues have for children and teens.
  • Appearance: Bodyweight, acne and fashion can be factors that will stress out a teen. Media has placed unrealistic standards for beauty that most teens feel they do not reach or maintain. These stressors can lead to other disorders such as eating disorders.
  • Family: Many teens worry about their families' financial security as well as family strife such as divorce. 


What are some of the effects of stress for teens and how does teen stress compare to adult stress?

The effects of stress on teens is similar to that of adults. 41% of adults and 40% of teens feel irritable and angry when stressed. 37% of adults and 36% of teens feel anxious and nervous. 30% of adults and 32% of teens feel they could cry when stressed.

Additionally, 32% of teens report headaches when stressed; 26% report changes in sleep; and 26% report overeating or eating unhealthy foods.


It's important for teens and parents or guardians to recognize the effects of stress and talk to one another about how to reduce stress. Talking to one's primary physician, therapist or other health provider can also be beneficial. 


If you or a loved one is dealing with extreme stress, contact KBH at 1-888-322-2136.


*Statistics from American Psychological Association.

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