Study says Children of academic households under more stress

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Study says Children of academic households under more stress

Study says Children of academic households under more stress

A new study has found that children from academic households exhibit significantly more stress while starting university.

Most students experience significant amounts of stress, and this stress can take a significant toll on health, happiness, and grades. However, there exist many healthier (and cheaper) ways to beat stress.

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A Swiss-German research team inferred the results by analysing the hair of female first-year students. Researchers argued that these students may be stressed by the fear of jeopardising the social status of their families if they fail their degrees.

For the study, published in Frontiers of Psychiatry, obtained three thin strands of hair from each participant. The body releases an increased amount of the hormone cortisol in stressful situations. The hormone reaches growing hair and is stored there if the levels remain high over a lengthy period of time. Researchers could therefore identify phases of stress by analysing their hair.

The study was conducted by Professor Alex Bertrams from the University of Bern and Dr Nina Minkley from Ruhr-Universitat Bochum (RUB) and their team.

Researchers examined the latest hair growth and a half centimetres that had grown in the six weeks since the beginning of the semester. In addition to this, participants were also made to fill out questionnaires on their parents’ educational background.

It was found that those with at least one parent with a university degree experienced higher stress levels than those from non-academic households.

“Children of non-academics, on the other hand, can only win and are therefore probably less stressed,” Minkley was quoted as saying by Science Daily.

Stress occurs naturally in college students, who are overwhelmed balancing multiple classes with work schedules and extra activities. 

Studying proves another monster conducive to stress, and some students choose to turn to unhealthy ways of coping: alcohol, drugs, overeating.