It focused more broadly on how students at elite private high schools cope with the combined pressures of school work, college applications, extracurricular activities, and parents’ expectations.That study, which appeared in Frontiers in Psychology, noted serious health effects for high schoolers, such as chronic stress, emotional exhaustion, and alcohol and drug use.And all those extra assignments may lead to family stress, especially when parents with limited education aren’t confident in their ability to talk with the school about their child’s work.
Experts continue to debate the benefits and drawbacks of homework.
But according to an article published this year in Monitor on Psychology, there’s one thing they agree on: the quality of homework assignments matters.
To conduct the study, researchers surveyed more than 4,300 students at 10 high-performing high schools in upper middle-class California communities.
They also interviewed students about their views on homework.
They reported having little time for relaxing or creative activities.
More than two-thirds of students said they used alcohol and drugs, primarily marijuana, to cope with stress.The researchers also found that spending too much time on homework meant that students were not meeting their developmental needs or cultivating other critical life skills.Students were more likely to forgo activities, stop seeing friends or family, and not participate in hobbies.Research suggests that when students are pushed to handle a workload that’s out of sync with their development level, it can lead to significant stress — for children and their parents.Both the National Education Association (NEA) and the National PTA (NPTA) support a standard of “10 minutes of homework per grade level” and setting a general limit on after-school studying.For kids in first grade, that means 10 minutes a night, while high school seniors could get two hours of work per night.Experts say there may be real downsides for young kids who are pushed to do more homework than the “10 minutes per grade” standard.The researchers expressed concern that students at high-pressure high schools can get burned out before they even get to college.“School, homework, extracurricular activities, sleep, repeat — that’s what it can be for some of these students,” said Noelle Leonard, Ph D, a senior research scientist at the New York University College of Nursing, and lead study author, in a press release.But according to the standards set by the NEA and NPTA, they shouldn’t receive any at all.A contributing editor of the study, Stephanie Donaldson-Pressman, told CNN that she found it “absolutely shocking” to learn that kindergarteners had that much homework.