May 22, 2009

One in five girls suffer from school burnout

[Posted: Fri 15/05/2009]

The transition to leaving certificate years is a challenge for many young people.

A new study has found that 20% of girls who are high-achievers suffer from burnout.

School burnout is a chronic school-related stress syndrome, which manifests as exhaustion, cynicism about school and feelings of inadequacy. It is a phenomenon to be taken seriously, as it can lead to depression.

“These girls tend to develop feelings of inadequacy, in particular, in upper secondary school. By contrast, boys who enter upper secondary school tend to develop more of a cynical, negative stance towards school,” the researchers from Finland said.

The study of more than 5,200 students, found that teachers who have a positive attitude and an ability to motivate students are extremely helpful for upper secondary school students. The more encouragement the students got from their teachers, the less likely they were to experience school burnout.

“Transitions from one stage of education to the next have an impact on the wellbeing of young people and they need support during these life stages. A healthy level of self-esteem is a protective factor,” the researchers added.

The study was carried out at the Academy of Finland’s Centre of Excellence in Learning and Motivation Research.