WHAT ARE THE COMMON STRESSORS IN A STUDENT LIFE THAT CRITICALLY AFFECT PERFORMANCE

Parents/Guardians worry when their children’s behavior becomes aggressive & when their grades drop significantly. The question parents should be asking themselves is “WHY”. Here are some of the courses of stress in child/student :

  • Grief & death of loved ones.
  • Children feel loss, confusion, fear, uncertainty, loss of direction, when they lose their loved ones, because they cannot understand the concept of death
  • Bullying/ Pear pressure:
  • Bullying is an aggressive behavior . Victims may experience long lasting trauma, injuries & psychological disorders. Bullying include, hostile intent, Social isolation, physical attacks, teasing, threatening, spreading malicious rumours, harassing, mocking, & many other mistreatments.
  • Often, students give in to friends(peer) pressure even if they feel it is wrong to do so. There is an old saying “If all your friends were going to jump off a bridge, would you jump too”. Many students bend to peer pressure because, they do not want their friends, to reject them. This pressure (peer pressure) pushes them to test boundaries.
  • Teachers ; Teachers have moral duty to play a role of surrogate parent or a second parents. This is because they are with the children longer than the parents. They MUST build the character of the child, protect his/her interest, guide & counsel them,& act as an advocate between the child & the parent/guardian (read more in role of a responsible teacher).
  •  Undeveloped countries have poor education system. Many of the citizens are either illiterate, have basic education or only a small percentage are well educated. Therefore many teachers in these countries, join teaching profession because they have no other occupation. 
  • Some teaching colleges are also not  accountable, they have uncommitted teachers & at times give certificates to non professionals. Many of these citizens have therefore experienced wrath of teachers, students have been insulated, physically, & mentally abused & neglected. The effect of such behavior denies the students, their dreams, aspirations & vast number of students  lose their motivation to study, their performance in class is drastically affected. 
  •  Over 80% of adults in these countries are engaged in careers they hate, or careers they did not plan as a future source of income. These affect greatly the economic,& technological development, well being of the citizens ( ask people randomly whether teachers’ behaviour ruined their life) , a society of  critical thinkers, & innovators. 
  • Physical Abuse
  • There is a prevalence of physical abuse among students. Child abuse is an infringement of child’s basic rights. It occurs across cultural & societal boundaries, both in developed & underdeveloped countries.
    • There are 4 major types of child abuse: Physical, Sexual, Emotional, & Neglect. Child abuse is detrimental to the child’s physical, psychological, or emotional well being. Physical abuse, is defined as, an action that intentionally harms or physically injures another person or animals. These may include: choking, burning, violent-hitting, shaking, biting, poisoning, physical restraint, etc.
  • Sexual abuse: An adult, teenager, or child, may use power or authority, to involve another child in sexual activity. Child sexual abuse can occur in various settings, it can be at home, school or areas children frequently visit. Child marriage, prostitution, indecent exposure of the child are also sexual abuse. Effects of child sexual abuse include, depression, post- traumatic stress disorder, anxiety withdrawal syndrome.
  • Emotional abuse is defined as behavior that causes psychological trauma or stress. Scars & bruises can be seen but wounds of emotional abuse are not visible. Effects of emotional abuse can be damaging & long lasting. These may include negative criticism, isolation or locking up a child for an extended time, exposure to domestic violence, rejection, bullying, teasing, violent yelling, name-calling.
  • Neglect abuse. Parents may not provide basic needs of a child, affecting their health development. This is neglect abuse. These basic needs may include, food, shelter, health care, adequate clothing, personal hygiene, adequate supervision & many more.
  • Family discord by family members
  • Many children suffer emotional abuse, when : Marital conflicts, substance abuse, Mental health issues, divorce, sibling division, Friction, Hostility, violent disputes, disagreements destabilize the family unit. The student’s grade drop significantly. These problem must be addressed or the future of the student might be ruined.
  • Witnessing or experiencing a trauma.
  • Traumatic experiences can initiate strong emotions & physical reactions, that can persist long after the event. Trauma in Children make them feel terror, helplessness, fear, as well as physiological reactions, heart pounding, other effects are vomiting, loss of bowel or bladder control, nightmares, also behavioral changes, eating disorder, intense emotional upset.
    • Other effects are depressive symptoms, difficulties with relating with others, regression or loss of previously acquired skills. engagement in unhealthy sexual activity, poor concentration in class, physical symptoms such as aches,& pains.
    • Examples of traumatic experiences are : Physical, sexual, or psychological abuse, family or community violence, substance use disorder, serious accidents experience or life-threatening illness. Others are natural disasters such as hurricanes, flooding, sudden loss, or violence of loved ones.
  • Mental health:
  • This is a state of well-being in which a person understands, his or her own abilities, & can cope with the normal stresses of life. He/she can work productively, fruitfully, & is able to make a contribution to his or her community. Mental health includes emotional psychological, & social well-being. It affects how the student think, feel, & act, how they handle stress, & relate to others.
  • Students with unhealthy mental stability  may make choices that have depression attributes. They may drop out of school, engage in drug abuse, develop withdraw syndrome, or even commit suicide. Mental health is important, at every stage of the student’s life to adulthood. It is important that all schools engage a guidance & counselling staff who is able to relate well with students.
  • Poverty
    • Students from poor families or background face many problems , including poor performance. Their parents are not able to give them basic rights like education clothing & shelter. Poverty places them at a disadvantage that is not only environmental but also physical & psychological. It affects their health, & their reaction to those they interact with or to external stimuli.
    • Students from poor background, feel hopelessness. They are at a higher risk of exhibiting behavioral issues, mental disorders, higher levels of anxiety & depression. Performance in class is therefore negatively affected, many drop out of school at a tender age, others get married, or engage in criminal gangs. The list is endless. 
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