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Spillover Effects Of Family And School Stress Linger In Adolescents' Daily Lives

Date:
May 15, 2008
Source:
Society for Research in Child Development
Summary:
A study among 589 9th graders found that stress at home affects adolescents' school life and vice versa. When adolescents experienced family stress, their learning and attendance problems increased at school the following day. Conversely, attendance and learning problems increased family stress the following day. These "spillover effects" lasted for two days after the initial stressor. Also, adolescents with higher family stress in 9th grade saw declining academic achievement in the 12th grade.

Teenagers today face increasing pressures and demands from school and home. New research has found that stress at home affects adolescents' school life, and vice versa. What's more, that stress lasts for two days and affects academic performance across the high school years.

The research, carried out at the University of California, Los Angeles, examined the implications of stress in adolescents' daily lives, looked at the spillover between daily family stressors and school problems among an ethically diverse group of 589 9th-grade students in the Los Angeles area. The teenagers reported their daily family and school experiences in a diary every day for two weeks, completing a checklist that assessed conflict with parents, family demands, learning difficulties, school attendance, and other experiences.

The study found that when adolescents experienced family stress, they had more problems with attendance and learning at school the next day. And when they had attendance and learning problems, they experienced more family stress the following day. These spillover effects continued for two days after the initial stressor occurred: Teenagers who experienced family stress had school adjustment problems not only the next day, but two days later. Similarly, teens with academic problems reported family stress for the next two days.

Stress also affected academic performance across the high school years, the researchers found. Adolescents who had higher levels of family stress and school problems at the start of high school, in 9th grade, saw declining academic achievement four years later, at the end of 12th grade.

"The findings from this study indicate that there are indeed short- and long-term consequences of daily stress that should not be overlooked," according to Lisa Flook, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, Los Angeles, and the study's lead author. "By the same token, the two-directional process of spillover between family and school identified here suggests that reducing stress in the family may have benefits for adolescents' school adjustment and vice versa."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Society for Research in Child Development. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Family and School Spillover in Adolescents' Daily Lives. Flook, L, and Fuligni, AJ (University of California, Los Angeles. Child Development, Vol. 79, Issue 3. (May/June 2008).

Cite This Page:

Society for Research in Child Development. "Spillover Effects Of Family And School Stress Linger In Adolescents' Daily Lives." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 May 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080515073004.htm>.
Society for Research in Child Development. (2008, May 15). Spillover Effects Of Family And School Stress Linger In Adolescents' Daily Lives. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080515073004.htm
Society for Research in Child Development. "Spillover Effects Of Family And School Stress Linger In Adolescents' Daily Lives." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080515073004.htm (accessed April 24, 2014).

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