Dr. Geeta Gupta

TO STUDY THE ACADEMIC
STRESS OF CLASS 12th STUDENTS
OF BHOPAL CITY

Minor Research Project
Funded by U.G.C.
F. No. MH-43/ 102054/ xii/14-15 CRO
2015 - 2017

 

SUMMARY

1.1     Introduction 
Stress : Stress is your body's way of responding to any kind of demand. It can be caused by both good and bad experiences. When people feel stressed by something going on around them, their bodies react by releasing chemicals into the blood. These chemicals give people more energy and strength, which can be a good thing if their stress is caused by physical danger. But this can also be a bad thing, if their stress is in response to something emotional and there is no outlet for this extra energy and strength.
Stressors : While stress is the feeling we have when we are under pressure, stressors are the things in our environment that we are responding to.  Stressors can be as simple as background noise in our environment or as complex as a social situation such as going out on a date. A stressor is anything that causes the release of stress hormones.
There are two broad categories of stressors: 
Physiological (or physical) stressors : These are stressors that put strain on our body (i.e.: very cold/hot temperatures, injury, chronic illness or pain).
Psychological Stressors : These are events, situations, individuals, comments or anything we interpret as negative or threatening (i.e. not being able to find a babysitter for your sick child when you cannot take time off work).

Statement of the Problem
“To study the Academic stress of class 12th students of Bhopal city.”

Objectives of the Study

  • To study the academic stress of class 12th students of Bhopal City.
  • To study the academic stress of class 12th boys of Bhopal city.
  • To study the academic stress of class 12th girls of Bhopal city.
  • To study the academic stress of class 12th students of private school of Bhopal city.
  • To study the academic stress of class 12th students of Government Schools of Bhopal city.
  • To compare the academic stress of boys & girls of class 12th of Bhopal city.
  • To compare the academic stress of Class 12th students from private and government schools of Bhopal city.
  • To compare the academic stress of Class 12th students from different streams.
  • To find the opinion of parents regarding the causes of stress among Students of 12th Class in Bhopal city.
  • To find the opinion of teachers regarding the causes of stress among Students of 12th Class in Bhopal city.

Research Questions of the Study

  • What is the academic stress of class 12th students of Bhopal City.
  • What is the academic stress of class 12th boys of Bhopal city.
  • What is the academic stress of class 12th girls of Bhopal city.
  • What is the academic stress of class 12th students of private school of Bhopal city.
  • What is the academic stress of class 12th students of Government Schools of Bhopal city.

Hypothesis of the study

  • There is no significant difference in the mean academic stress scores between boys and girls.
  • There is no significant difference in the mean academic stress scores between students from private and government schools
  • There is no significant difference in the mean academic stress scores students from different streams
  • There is no significant difference in the opinion of parents regarding the causes of stress among Students of 12th Class.
  • There is no significant difference in the opinion of teachers regarding the causes of stress among Students of 12th Class.

Operational Definitions
The operational definition of the variables gives an idea of the direction in which the study is moving. A brief description of the same is given.

  • Academic Stress: Academic stress is a mental or emotional pressure, tension or stress that comes due to the demands of school/college life. It may arise from being exposed to new educational concepts, adjusting to new social settings and taking on larger workload. Academic stress is the product of a combination of academic related demands that exceed the adaptive resources available to an individual” (Wilks, 2008).

For the present study academic stress is defined as the score obtained by the student in the Student Stress Scale developed by Dr. Zaki Akhtar.

  • Type of School: Type of school refers to the management under which the school is functioning. There are broadly three types of management prevent in India viz, government management, private management and schools under trust. For the present study those schools were selected which had Class 12th being conducted regularly and were either managed by the government or by private parties.
  • Gender: Gender refers to the state of being male or female. For the present study the boys and girls studying in class 12th were taken.
  • Stream: Stream refers to one of the subjects opted by the student in Class 11th. In India, the student has to choose one or a combination of subjects from amongst Mathematics, Biology, Commerce, Humanities and other subjects available for vocational education. For the present study stream is the subject being studied by the students in Class 12th from amongst Mathematics, Biology, Commerce and Arts.
  • Class 12th: For the present study Class 12th refers to the last year of formal schooling done by students in a school.

1.2     Review of related literature
 Review of related literature provides the academic support to the researcher. The review of related literature, however, is as important as any other compartment of research process, and it can be conducted quite painlessly if it is approached is an orderly manner. Some of the researchers even find the process quite enjoyable. Reviews of related literature makes the investigator familiar with the summary and findings of the previous studies.
Reviewing all the major studies of the past the researcher keeps interest to find out whether any study has been done, which can be interrelated with the present topic of investigator. Some studies are done on the topic of general fields, with in the Jurisdiction of which the present topic falls.
The present study is undertaken to investigate” To study the academic stress of class 12th students of Bhopal city.   
Hoover-Dempsey et al. (2001) conducted a study on effect of Academic stress on parents and families. They found that academic stress has a positive effect on parents and families by allowing the, to show an interest in their children’s academic progress.

1.3       Methodology
Method of the Research
The present research work is an “ex-post facto study”, where the effect of the independent variables i.e. gender, stream chosen and type of school is found out on the dependent variable i.e. academic stress of Class XII students. The target population of the study consisted of all the Class XII students, their parents and Teachers. For the present study 400 Class XII students , 50 parents and 50 Teachers were taken as the sample.

Tools used in the Study
For collecting the data of the present study the following tools were used:

  • Students Stress Scale developed by Dr. Zaki Akhtar
  • Questionnaire for Parents developed by the investigators
  • Questionnaire for Teachers developed by the investigators

Data Collection Procedure
After selecting the sample of schools, the researcher visited the schools and personally met the Principals to seek permission and cooperation for conducting the study. The data were collected in two phases which is as follows:
Phase I :         Collection of Data from the Students using Student Stress Scale developed by Dr. Zaki Akhtar
Phase II:         Collection of data from the teachers using Questionnaire for teachers
Phase II:         Collection of data from the parents using Questionnaire for parents

On the completion of the data collection the responses of the subjects recorded in the answer sheets were scored following the instructions given in the manuals and the scoring keys provided/developed for the purpose. The scores were tabulated keeping in view the objective and hypothesis of the study. The investigator used different statistical techniques such as arithmetic mean, standard deviation, percentage analysis, t-test and ANOVA to do the analysis of the study.

1.4       Major Findings of the Study
The following are the major findings of the present study:

  • Almost 80% of the students of Bhopal city have very high to moderate level of academic stress.
  • Almost 67% of the boys of Bhopal city have very high to moderate level of academic stress.
  • Almost 95% of the boys of Bhopal city have very high to moderate level of academic stress.
  • Almost 90% of the students of private schools of Bhopal city have very high to moderate level of academic stress.
  • Almost 70% of the students of private schools of Bhopal city have very high to moderate level of academic stress.
  • The academic stress of girls is higher that of the boys.
  • The academic stress of students of studying in Private schools is higher than the academic stress of students studying in government schools.
  • The academic stress of students of Mathematics stream is the highest, then is the academic stress of Students of Biology stream , then is the academic stress of students who have taken Commerce stream and then is that of students of Arts stream.
  • There is similarity in the opinion of parents regarding the causes of stress.
  • According to the parents the burden of studies, imposing parents opinion in selection of subjects, being alone at home, not having food on time, not being able to complete work on time, lack of opportunities to meet relatives and friends, not being able to talk to family members , family and domestic problems are the causes of academic stress among students.
  • Further, it is found that parents feel that being up till late night and lack of sleep, spending long hours on mobile and internet, lack of attention from parents and their being busy, taking inadequate, balanced diet, regular absence from school, the additional burden of studying at coaching classes, display of lack of confidence by parents and comparing students with younger siblings are the causes of academic stress among students.
  • It was seen that according to the parents lack of confidence in one’s own abilities, the pressure to overtake one’s classmates, comparing one’s children with those of relatives and friends, not being able to participate in one’s favourite activities due to studies, selection of a different stream instead of one’s liking, lack of praise even after performing well and being scolded on poor performance are also reasons for academic stress on students.
  • According to the teachers being isolated and not mixing with others, not taking interest in studies by students, regular absence from class, lack of participation by students in the classroom, getting taught by untrained teachers, lack of co-curricular activities in the daily time-table, the difficulty level of subject-matter being high and the fact that the subject matter is not of the intellectual level are the causes of academic stress among students.
  • Further, it is found that teachers feel that the additional burden of attending coaching classes along with regular classes, getting estranged by classmates, the medium of instruction in the class, lack of coordination among the teacher in the school, lack of cordial relationship between teachers and the school administration, lack of infrastructural facilities in school, the biased behaviour of the teachers and fear of examination are the causes of academic stress among students.

Parents are also of the view that Use of negative reinforcement by students, Personal problems of teachers, Lack of interest shown by teachers in teaching, Lack of subject-experts in the school, Lack of objectivity in the evaluation procedure, Use of only traditional methods of teaching by teachers, Not providing teachers salary according to the amount of work and post and Lack of willingness of the teachers to use latest technology

Recommendations

  • Since most of the children are facing very high to moderate level of academic stress there is urgent need to review, modify, strengthen and develop curricular practices and pedagogical approaches through programmes and activities giving specific emphasis on the various areas of stress management and control.
  • Immediate steps should be taken by the policy makers, administrators, authorities, principals, teachers and parents to alleviate the stress level among the students.
  • Teachers teaching higher secondary level need to be appropriately trained through various pre-service and in-service programmes to enable them to avoid action which lead to increasing stress among the students.
  • Specific orientation and awareness programmes need to be organized by various government and non-government agencies to sensitize the people on the areas of academic stress.
  • Guidance  programs  such  as  workshops,  symposiums,  and public  lectures on  stress  should be organized periodically  for  students  so  that  they  can  be  adequately  equipped  with  the  needed  skills  to  handle  issues related to stress.
  • As parental involvement has significant impact on the academic stress of the students, the agencies should devise novel methods to orient and train parents of higher secondary level students.
  • It is seen that the parental awareness about the aspects of academic stress and the need of the keeping children away from stress plays a huge role in reducing academic stress among students, hence the parents should be made aware and sensitized on the needs of the children and the various areas that need to be taken care of at that age.
  • Exposure to methods of academic stress management could be emphasized during the pre-service teacher education programme by the teacher education institutions. Innovative strategies should be developed to involve parents in the educational development of their children during the pre-service programmes itself.
  • As academic stress is a major aspect that affects the students performance there is urgent need to review the teacher education programme and include academic stress management as a subject in the curriculum.
  • Since better quality home background has positive influence on the stress level of the students, the parents need to be oriented accordingly. This could be achieved by strengthening parent-teacher’s associations. Parents should be made to understand the importance of providing an supporting environment which reduces academic stress. There should be forum for discussion and sharing of experiences and experiments that led to the success in achieving the goal of stress free education.
  • Since academic stress is found to be higher in the girls they should be provided proper support and guidance from time to time to relieve them of their stress.
  • Since the academic stress of private school students is found to be higher there is need to look into the curricular practices of these school and remove the procedures and activities that lead to academic stress.
  • Since the academic stress of students of science stream is found to be higher that students of other streams there is need to provide orientation to students regarding their abilities and providing them with other options even if they do not come up to the competition.
  • There should be at least one guidance teacher in the school who is well trained in the aspect of both psychological and occupational guidance and counseling.
  • Regular orientation and guidance and counseling of the students, parents and teachers should be conducted to keep them aware of the changes that have taken place in the stream they have chosen and the opportunities and the alternatives that are available in that field.
  • The society need to be oriented on not judging the students by their performance in academics but to support the students by motivating them even if they face failures.
  • Steps should be taken by family and school to provide stress free and congenial environment to adolescents for their academic growth and well being.
  • Necessary programmes should be conducted in schools regularly to reduce the stress level of adolescents to an optimum level so that they can attain better academic performance.
  • Schools must give due importance to co-curricular activities like sports, music, swimming etc.
  • Yoga must be made an essential part of curriculum since it has been proved that it plays an important role in increasing the concentration power and bringing down the stress level.
  • Teachers should use a variety of teaching techniques instead of just one, to transact the topic and they should be in regular contact with the students to be aware of their specific difficulties and device methods to overcome them.

Suggestion for Further Study
In the present study the researcher has made an attempt to examine the effect of gender, type of school and the stream chosen on the academic stress of Class 12th students. Every study has its own limitations as it is difficult for any researcher to cover all the aspects. Joint efforts can do better in this direction, as it is a very vast area; therefore researcher has intended to explore the possibilities of more research studies in this area. Some of them may be as follows :

  • The sample for the present study was made in limited area but the same study can be also done at a large area.
  • Study may be conducted to develop strategies that can reduce the academic stress of the children.
  • Studies may be conducted to devise ways by which parental involvement can be improved.
  • Studies can be conducted to find out the effect of introducing the topic of stress management at teacher educator level.
  • The same study can be replicated on the students studying in other grades to measure their academic stress.
  • The rural and urban variation in academic stress may be investigated in other geographical areas.
  • Longitudinal/developmental studies may be undertaken to study the long term effect of academic stress over a period of time in Indian context.
  • Studies may be conducted to find the teacher’s perspective of academic stress in Indian context.