Description: Do you have feelings of anxiety especially associated with school, college or University? If you do you are not alone, and in fact, you may actually be in the majority of recent data is valid. Before reading the article linked below think a bit about why it might be that students these days are experiencing significantly more anxiety that was true for students even just 5 to 10 years ago. Once you have a few hypotheses in mind read the article linked below to see what data and some student experiences are saying about this question.
Source: Why are more American Teenagers Than Ever Suffering From Severe Anxiety? Benoit Denizet-Lewis, New York Times Magazine.
Date: October 11, 2017
The article linked above does a very good job raising the issue of increased rates of anxiety among adolescents and emerging adults and also provides some case examples of young people struggling with anxiety but provides really nothing in the way of an explanation for the increased rates of anxiety. Typically when rates of anything jump the first hypothesis is related to increased rates of disclosure. That is, more people are coming forward and so it looks like the rate has increased when really we are just more aware of cases than before. But if not that (and I think it is not that) then what? Is the world a tougher place? Well maybe yes maybe no. Is the world as it appears to adolescents and emerging adults readying themselves to head out into that world and do whatever they are going to do a less certain place? Well THAT is most certainly true. But how does sociohistorical change of opportunity rattle down to the level of individual psychology and anxiety? Now there is an interesting and complicated question. I do not have an answer to it but we DO need to look into it more closely. I have tried to find a few links below that may be places to start looking.
Questions for Discussion:
- What is the prevalence of anxiety and anxiety related issues among high school, college and university students “these days”?
- Do we most need better psychological or better sociological (societal level) hypotheses (or both) for why these changes might be happening?
- Is there any value at all in considering the hypothesis that “students these days are just not tough enough for the demands of the world?
References (Read Further):
Holmes, A., & Silvestri, R. (2016). Rates of Mental Illness and Associated Academic Impacts in Ontario’s College Students. Canadian Journal of School Psychology, 31(1), 27-46. http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0829573515601396