Two thirds of parents believe exam stress affects children’s mental health, reveals poll

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11th June 2019 14:36 - Education

Two thirds of parents believe exam stress affects children’s mental health: A poll asking parents about the impact exams have on children has found two-thirds (65%) with kids over the age of 13 believe exam stress affects mental health.

The survey by Mumsnet questioned over 1,500 parents, with 11% of those with teenage children disclosing that it 'severely' affects their child's mental wellbeing.

The poll also found that more than a third of parents polled with children aged 13 or over said their children experienced loss of sleep due to anxiety and worry over exam results. For 9% of parents, the issue was so severe that they had visited a GP or other healthcare professional to help cope with symptoms of stress brought on by exams.

Looking at younger children (under 13 years) a fifth (20%) said that they have witnessed their child suffering emotional distress because of pressure at school, test results or anxiety.

Just less than a third (31%) said that the pressure to achieve good results from school was a cause of stress/anxiety for their children, which was foumd to be ahead of stressful home situations (26%), bullying (22%) and social media (6%). In fact, it was the second most dominant stress causing factor for school children, behind upsets within their friendship groups (64%).

The poll asked parents about the factors they believed could best help their children cope with the pressures around exams with 61% saying a supportive family, and 47% saying that ensuring they had adequate support from school (teachers and other staff) was useful. Spending time outside and engaging with nature was also a popular answer (44%) as was spending time with friends, selected by two fifths of respondents (40%).

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