Anxiety Disorders are an established issue. They can be triggered by lots of things: stress, loneliness, and sadness. Anxiety in any form makes life hard, especially when anxiety affects people in a stressful environment, school. Balancing mental stability on top of school is a juggling act that not many can do. The majority research done on Anxiety and its relationship to school was done through school and medical journals cited through JSTOR: a digital library that provides journals, books and other types literature to the general public. This research paper will what difficulties does anxiety pose for students and what the school environment does for students with anxiety. Explaining the different types of anxiety, what triggers them and how they can be prevented will be elaborated on so that readers have a clear idea of what Anxiety Disorders and school share.
Anxiety is the feeling of nervousness, unease or worry. Anxiety Disorders (AD) is the term used to describe different forms of abnormal mental conditions that interfere in normal life. People who are impaired by ADs have harder times handling the stress that is accompanied with school. The school’s responsibility to these students is to provide the proper counseling and materials they need to deal with anxiety. Proper preparation of handling students with these ADs is the importance of a good administration. The following ADs are a few of the mental disabilities that would be expected by school officials to prepare for.
Social Phobia is one of these such ADs. “Children with social phobia fear and frequently avoid social situations most commonly involving interactions with others or situations where they may become the object of scrutiny.” The school environment promotes the opposite of this. Students sometimes struggle to keep to themselves when they are surrounded by peers and teachers. Simple acts of speaking up or talking in front of a class could trigger unease. The severity of these interactions can differ from student to student, but the concern is the same. Symptoms range from rapid heartbeat all the way to the inability to catch breath and even fainting.
Another example of an AD would be Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).
“Generalized anxiety disorder is characterized by excessive worry, concerning numerous events, across a range of life domains.” Stresses put on students by teachers ranging from homework to projects could be an event that would trigger this. Stressing over everything indiscriminately will cause some students to lose control of what they worry about. Frequent worry that cannot be controlled will lead to somatic symptoms. Somatic symptoms include, but are not limited to: Restlessness, fatigue, irritability, difficulties concentrating, muscle tension and sleep disturbances.
An AD doesn’t have to be a broad spectrum of events to causes. Specific phobia is “distinct and extreme fear associated with a single stimulus or situation.” Connecting bad memories or emotions with events or things would be a Specific phobia. Fear of spiders and depression when a dead family member is brought up is an example. School phobia would be an effect of specific phobia. Stress of the home environment and family issues would trigger association of extreme fear with home. School phobia interferes with the brain making it harder to think straight. People in school would lose focus and find it harder to stay on one subject when also worrying about the home environment waiting.
There are many factors that would contribute to developing an Anxiety Disorder. Factors that contribute to AD can be broken down into two risk factors; interpersonal and environmental. Intrapersonal risk factors would include “behavioral inhibition, heightened physiological responding, negative emotionality, emotional dysregulation, limited attention control and emotional self-efficacy.” Environmental risk factors include “anxious and overprotective parenting.”, domestic violence or exposure to domestic violence and depression in the mothers would also be considered environmental risk factors.
Anxiety can affect almost all ages. A study done on exposure
to violence done on a test group of children 2 to 4 (with 213 participants) found that: “exposure to violence was associated with an increased risk of separation anxiety and posttraumatic stress disorder.” Anxiety poses higher risk for people who are not fully matured. At 25 a human’s brain is fully matured. While this is occurring, the brain is in increasing more vulnerable to anxiety disorders.
At least one student is likely to have an AD in every
classroom and that number may grow. Proper coping skills can be useful for these students to keep clear from triggering an unwanted AD. Having a consistent daily routine can help students deal with day to day life. Keeping organized with a consistent schedule that has clear results will help to deal with changes that may stress students. Task-focused environment is another way students can keep away from anxiety producing scenarios. Keeping a student’s environment focused on school and not the stresses of life will help build a more mentally stable student. Obliging students to work together instead of focusing on solving issues alone will produce more problem-solving students.
Promote structured group cooperation. Student cooperation with
Peers helps students with ADs to develop connections. Connections made with peers helps students build confidence. Confidence students more comfortable in their environment and give purpose. Teachers who balance constructive work on a comforting environment will also see better results in class. Simple group projects and class discussions help build confidence that may be missing in students. Another way to help students with ADs is to provide classroom passes.
Administration and school staff aren’t perfect. Giving students with ADs
the ability to excuse themselves from the classroom can help them work through the symptoms of their AD. “The ability to make a graceful exit is important to the student’s self-esteem and peer relationships.” Students with AD can use the time away from class to relief their stress and come back into class with a good physique. Staff that allow students the ability to leave class to deal with their AD are creating a trusting student-to-teacher relationship. Students that can trust their teacher will feel more confident talking to them and will develop connections that will help dissolve a seclusive attitude in class.
School administration is responsible for providing students
with the proper materials to deal with their ADs. A study done on teachers and their satisfaction with the materials provided for them found conclusive results. Among a study done with over 200 teachers that are/where members of the Council for Children with Behavioral Disorders (CCBD) teachers found moderate satisfaction with the materials available to them. Many test variables were accounted for to conclude a moderate satisfaction rate for teachers. Parent-student support, education colleagues and their administration. Parents support and trust of educators to help deal with disruptive and otherwise unsafe behavior to provide proper disciplinary actions surprised educators the most.
Teachers can suffer from the stress of a classroom. Teachers reported
satisfaction with the advice available to them from colleagues and the assistance they received in dealing with misbehavior in the classroom. Lastly, administration was used to survey the satisfaction of teachers.
The educator’s ability to remove loud and misbehaving students from the classroom environment is a major concern better education. Students that pose a distraction to the class interfere in the teacher’s job as an educator. Teachers also found moderate satisfaction in the responsiveness of administration among with security provided to them. Resources available to teachers involved in CCBD was found to be moderately satisfying. The same resources provided to teachers that deal with students with ADs would show similar results.