For children, stress can go a long way. A little bit provides a platform for learning, adapting and coping. But a lot of it — chronic, toxic stress like poverty, neglect and physical abuse — can have lasting negative impacts. A team of researchers recently showed these kinds of stressors, experienced in early life, might be changing the parts of developing children’s brains responsible for learning, memory and the processing of stress and emotion.
A new study reports a potential link between stress hormones and short-term memory loss in older adults. The study reveals that having high levels of cortisol—a natural hormone in our body whose levels surge when we are stressed—can lead to memory lapses as we age.
The Princeton Review conducts our annual College Hopes and Worries Survey of college applicants and parents of applicants to report on their expectations and experiences surrounding the college application process. Respondents are readers of our annual “Best Colleges” guidebook and users of our website.
Findings for our 2014 survey are based on responses from 14,150 people: 10,116 college applicants and 4,034 parents of applicants. They came from across America, representing all 50 states and DC. Some replied from countries abroad.
Some of our key findings are below. Also, check out our favorite words of advice from students and parents.
Studies of mindfulness programs in schools have found that regular practice — even just a few minutes per day — improves student self-control and increases their classroom participation, respect for others, happiness, optimism, and self-acceptance levels.
When kids have undergone a lot of adversity, it changes how they respond to people and challenges in their environment, including very simple things that we might not think about — like how many transitions you ask them to do before lunch. For traumatized people, changes are encoded largely as danger.
We are implementing the common core. But I have to be quite frank with you, if those things cause stress in adults, and I understand they do, then you need to come with me and visit the families who live in cars behind Huntington Park High School. You need to visit the young ladies who are having children - and we provide schools just for gals who are having babies, ‘cause you don’t drop out of school anymore - who see an OBGYN for the first time the day they have their child. There’s no access to healthcare. If we want to talk about stress, it’s families with no parents. That’s stress. I am convinced that we can get over adult stress to serve youth.
UCLA scientists report that use of yoga-based breathing practices can help teens relieve stress and impulsivity.
Scientists studied the effect of the Youth Empower Seminar, or YES! — a workshop for adolescents that teaches them to manage stress, regulate their emotions, resolve conflicts and control impulsive behavior.
A new study suggests a particular type of mental training can help to reduce stress and depression among school age children.
UK researchers found that mindfulness training, a technique that develops sustained attention that can change the ways people think, act and feel, is an effective method to promote wellness in school kids.
Emerging research suggests that social cohesion across communities can help others cope better with crises, and improve happiness among individuals.
Economist Dr. John Helliwell and colleagues from the University of British Columbia in Canada believe this shows that part of the reason for this greater resilience is the fact that humans are more than simply social beings, they are so-called “pro-social” beings. In other words, they get happiness not just from doing things with others, but from doing things both with and for others.
According to researchers at Carnegie Mellon University, self-affirmation is the process of identifying and focusing on your most important values. Doing this can boost problem-solving abilities, the researchers claim.
“An emerging set of published studies suggest that a brief self-affirmation activity at the beginning of a school term can boost academic grade-point averages in underperforming kids at the end of the semester.
"You always think about stress as a really bad thing, but it’s not," said Daniela Kaufer, associate professor of integrative biology at the University of California, Berkeley. "Some amounts of stress are good to push you just to the level of optimal alertness, behavioral and cognitive performance.
New research by Kaufer and UC Berkeley post-doctoral fellow Elizabeth Kirby has uncovered exactly how acute stress — short-lived, not chronic — primes the brain for improved performance.
New research, published in the journal Mindfulness, suggests practicing meditation before class can help students focus and lead to better grades.
Researchers randomly selected students for basic meditation instructions before a lecture and discovered that the students who meditated before the lecture scored better on a subsequent quiz than students who did not meditate.
Now researchers (Szpunar, Khan, & Schacter, 2013) have reported testing as a potentially powerful ally in online learning. College students frequently report difficulty in maintaining attention during lectures, and that problem seems to be exacerbated when the lecture occurs on video.
Data shows students’ minds wandered less with just the thought that they might be tested. Interesting…
Family dinners do more than just bring parents and kids up to date; a new study suggests the fellowship inherent in such gatherings contributes to good mental health in adolescents.
Frank Elgar, Ph.D., a professor at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, discovered family meal times are a measurable signature of social exchanges in the home that benefit adolescents’ well-being – regardless of whether or not they feel they can easily talk to their parents.
“More frequent family dinners related to fewer emotional and behavioral problems, greater emotional well-being, more trusting and helpful behaviors towards others and higher life satisfaction,” said Elgar, whose research centers on social inequalities in health and family influences on child mental health.