Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Study aims to reduce stress in high-risk, high-poverty schools

Date:
December 5, 2013
Source:
Arizona State University College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Summary:
Researchers will launch a pilot study to test the effects of an intervention targeted to reduce school-wide stress.

A pilot study funded by CityBridge Foundation and The Ludwig Family Foundation will support research at ASU into chronic stress in at-risk youth in Washington, D.C.
Credit: IISBR/ASU

Extensive research has shown that disadvantaged school environments are highly stressful at multiple levels for students, teachers, and administrators. Such findings are particularly troubling in light of the mounting evidence that chronic stress translates into long-term adverse effects on learning, memory and health outcomes.

An interdisciplinary group of experts from Arizona State University (ASU), Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and Johns Hopkins School of Education is researching solutions for this emerging health challenge. These partners will launch a pilot study to test the effects of an intervention targeted to reduce school-wide stress with funding from CityBridge Foundation and The Ludwig Family Foundation.

The researchers will collect saliva from students and teachers to measure levels of salivary cortisol, alpha amylase, nerve growth factor and immunoglobulin. The samplings will then be compared with written surveys to assess psychosocial stress, grit/resilience, and students' and teachers' self-beliefs related to learning and teaching.

"This is the first approach of its kind to quantify biological levels of perceived stress at the individual, classroom, and teacher levels, and may shed light on the link between stress and key educational metrics," said Professor Douglas Granger, the director of the Institute for Interdisciplinary Salivary Bioscience Research at ASU.

The intervention being tested was developed by the nonprofit Turnaround for Children to reduce psychosocial stress in high-risk, high-poverty educational settings. The partnership between the universities is led by Professors Granger and Sheila Walker, and is being conducted in two District of Columbia Public Schools in Washington, D.C.

"The extremely stressful conditions found in high-poverty educational settings, including the negative culture and lack of physical and emotional safety experienced by students, can create a destructive cycle, inhibiting learning, resilience, and health amongst students, teachers, and administrators, and can create a persistent atmosphere of chronic stress," said Walker, a research associate with Hopkins. "Our long-term aim is not only to optimize the learning environment for individual children, but also to improve psychological and physiological health for all students at a school system-wide level."

The investigators will build on new research by experts in systems biology that validates the importance of examining classrooms and schools as dynamic, interactive systems, particularly given the growing evidence to support the contagion effect of stress and its many downstream consequences.

Walker commented, "We believe that this study has ground-breaking potential to further our understanding of how to optimize educational environments for high-poverty, at-risk children."

The researchers hope that their approach, which combines information from social and biological sources, can provide valuable data to help fortify educational settings and optimize outcomes for at-risk children. Moreover, the findings are expected to have important implications, not only for improving academic success, but also for enhancing broader life outcomes, quality of life and long-term health. CityBridge Foundation and The Ludwig Family Foundation are both Washington, D.C.-based philanthropic organizations dedicated to education and promoting positive change in communities.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Arizona State University College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Arizona State University College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. "Study aims to reduce stress in high-risk, high-poverty schools." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 December 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131205165719.htm>.
Arizona State University College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. (2013, December 5). Study aims to reduce stress in high-risk, high-poverty schools. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131205165719.htm
Arizona State University College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. "Study aims to reduce stress in high-risk, high-poverty schools." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131205165719.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Science & Society News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

AFP (July 24, 2014) America's death penalty debate raged Thursday after it took nearly two hours for Arizona to execute a prisoner who lost a Supreme Court battle challenging the experimental lethal drug cocktail. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

AFP (July 24, 2014) China's elderly population is expanding so quickly that children struggle to look after them, pushing them to do something unexpected in Chinese society- move their parents into a nursing home. Duration: 02:07 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hundreds in Virginia Turn out for a Free Clinic to Manage Health

Hundreds in Virginia Turn out for a Free Clinic to Manage Health

AFP (July 24, 2014) America may be the world’s richest country, but in terms of healthcare, the World Health Organisation ranks it 37th - prompting hundreds in Virginia to turn out for a free clinic run by “Remote Area Medical”. Duration 02:40 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins