PEEL SCHOOL PSYCHOLOGY SERVICE

Information Bulletin Number 18

 

How Stressed Are Your Students From Schooling?

A Measurement Instrument and Self-Help Ideas

 

Stress is a physical reaction which overcomes a student's ability to cope with or manage an academic schooling situation. It causes physical effects such as sweating, rapid heart beat, high blood pressure, headaches, tantrums, sleeping problems, and stomach nausea. Mental difficulties induced by stress include worrying; anxiety, a short temper, blaming others, negative thoughts and depression. Stress is caused by negative thinking, disorganisation, procrastination, conflicts with others and low confidence. It is also caused by critical incidents including factors such as difficult decisions, failure in a test, sickness, separation, theft, dislocation and death of loved ones.

 

Measurement: Students may check their stress levels in school with this questionnaire by circling the appropriate responses.

 

Guideline To Total Score:                 20-34 Normal, 35-49 Moderate Stress, 50-60 Severe -Ask For Help

 

 

                 Seldom  Sometimes     Always

1. I feel hostile or angry at school

 

 

1

2

3

2. I feel I have to succeed in school all the time.

 

 

1

2

3

3. 1 find myself not wanting to talk to other students.

 

 

1

2

3

4. I feel everything the teacher asks me to do is unreasonable

 

 

1

2

3

5. I find myself easily irritated by others in school.

 

 

1

2

3

6. School has become very boring, tedious and routine.

 

 

1

2

3

7. 1 feel like I'm at a standstill in school.

 

 

1

2

3

8. 1 find myself feeling very negative about school work.

 

 

1

2

3

9. 1 tend to take longer to get things done.

 

 

1

2

3

10. 1 have trouble organising my schoolwork and my time.

 

 

1

2

3

11. I've become less tolerant of the mistakes of others.

 

 

1

2

3

12. I feel powerless to make any real changes in my life.

 

 

1

2

3

13. 1 find myself taking out my school frustration at home.

 

 

1

2

3

14. I avoid contact with others at school whenever I can.

 

 

1

2

3

15. I find myself asking if these are the right subjects for me.

 

 

1

2

3

16. 1 find myself thinking negatively about school.

 

 

1

2

3

17. Each morning I wonder how I'll handle the coming day.

 

 

1

2

3

18. 1 feel that nobody at school cares about what I do.

 

 

1

2

3

19.1 am spending less time working and more time avoiding work.

 

 

1

2

3

20.1 feel tired and listless at school even with enough sleep.

 

 

1

2

3

 

 

 

Advice For Handling Stress

 

1. Get lots of sleep.

2. Eat a variety of fresh foods.

3. Exercise regularly.

4. Talk with teachers, student service team, family and friends.

5. Allow yourself to feel stressed.

6. Confront the source of the stress and problem solve with help from others.

7. Think and talk positively about the situation.

8. Change yourself and your responses to the situation.

9. Involve yourself in activities removed from the situation. Use positive distractions to avoid thinking about stress causing things.

\           10. Try stress management techniques such as deep breathing, muscular relaxation, imagery, and positive self-talk. The student services team can help.

11. Put your thoughts `on hold' and increase your tolerance of others.

 

 

ADVICE TO TEACHERS FOR HANDLING STRESSED STUDENTS

 

1. Spend some time with the stressed individual and listen to their problems.

2. Direct them to sources of help with problems such as disorganisation, procrastination, poor time management and study skills.

3. Don't take their anger, quick temper or misbehaviour personally. Allow them `timeout.'

4. Help the student re-establish a normal schedule quickly.

 

 

For help or further information, see your school psychologist or read Tunnecliffe, Michael. Understanding and Managing Stress. Perth: Bayside Books, 1996.