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54 Student Stress Statistics 2021/2022 Data: Bullying, Mental Health & Gun Violence

With a finite number of hours per day and an endless array of to-dos, young people continue to get exposed to school stress levels that are almost comparable to adult stress. As you will see in this article, student stress statistics in 2020 will show that things haven’t changed much for the better: they are very much experiencing stress, and maybe more than ever.

Below are 54 student stress stats in 2021 that will help inform you of what high school and college students are going through in pursuit of higher education, such as college admission, batteries of exams, extra-curricular activities, and on-the-job training.

We’ll also delve into the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on student stress, how it changed their mental health, and how they are coping with the complication. This article aims to provide insights in the hope of generating solutions in the future.

student stress data

High School Student Stress Statistics

High school represents the transition between the carefree, easygoing life of children and the responsibility-laden world of adults. In the movies, high school life gets characterized as laid back, and consists of the “best times of your life.” However, especially among American schoolchildren, high school life has slowly developed into a pressure-filled, anxiety-laden environment.

From academic, peer, and social pressure, to getting admitted to the college of your choice, to exposure to bullying and violence, to the havoc that the COVID-19 has been wreaking on the world, high school life is becoming more and more stressful for many students. To illustrate, here are some high school student stress statistics in 2020:

  • Extremely high-stress levels and mental health issues among both high school and college students have resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic. (Chest, 2020)
  • 61% of teens 13-17 years old say they are under a lot of pressure to produce good grades. This percentage is twice as high as those pressured to look good or fit in socially. (Pew Research Center, 2019)
  • 59% of teens plan to attend a 4-year college course after high school. (Pew Research Center, 2019)
  • While college applications increased by 4% from the previous year, the passing rate for college applicants in 2018 is 65.4%. (College News, 2019)
  • 75% of high schoolers and 50% of middle schoolers described themselves as “often or always feeling stressed” by schoolwork. (The Washington Post, 2019)
  • 66% reported, “often or always worried about being accepted in their chosen college.” (The Washington Post, 2019)
  • 45% of high school students report feeling stressed all the time. (Globe NewsWire)
  • On a 10-point scale, American teens have rated their stress rate at an average scored of 5.8, compared to normal values of 3.8. (LSW Online, 2019)

Source: 2018 Survey on US Teens, PEW Research Center

High School Student Bullying Statistics

Bullying is an age-old problem not just for high school but for school kids in general. Sadly, bullying did not stop in the hallways, but rather crossed over to the social media area and spawned cyberbullying. To give you an idea, below are high school stress statistics featuring bullying:

  • 15.7% of US high school students experienced cyberbullying between 2018 and 2019. (CDC, 2019)
  • Female students were more likely to be bullied online than male students. (CDC, 2019)
  • 20.4% of female students say they had been bullied electronically in the last 12 months. (CDC, 2019) 
  • High school bullying is done through text messages, Instagram, Facebook, or other social media. (CDC, 2019)
  • About 160,000 teenagers skip schools because of bullying. (Chest, 2020)
  • 36.5% of students in US middle schools and high schools have suffered from cyberbullying. (Chest, 2020)
  • Only 39% of high school students in the US have notified an adult of bullying. (Chest, 2020)
  • Bullying affects 1 in 5 American students. (CDC)
  • 46% of 41 school shooter suspects were victims of bullying themselves. (U.S. Secret Service, 2019)
  • 15% of middle and high school students admitted to cyberbullying others at some point. (Cyberbullying Research Center, 2019)
  • 72% of bullied private school students and 55% of bullied public school students believe their bullies can influence what other students thought about them. (BJS)
  • 41% of bullied students believe they would be bullied again in the future. (BJS)
  • 57% of bullying incidents stop within 10 seconds when bystanders intervene. (StopBullying.gov)

bullying statistics

College Student Stress Statistics

These statistics reveal that the pursuit of higher education is not without its perils. College offers the additional (and often simultaneous) challenges of coping with schoolwork, learning to live independently, managing the school supply budget, and assuming added responsibility by getting a job/extra credits. At the same time, the transition from adolescence to adulthood slowly takes shape, and with this comes growing pains. In fact, college drug abuse statistics are also telling of how college students today get exposed to a wider range of substances.

External factors such as relationships, student loans, and in some extremes, perceived threats of violence or school shootings may rattle even more nerves. To give you some insights on how pressure-filled student life can be, refer to the stress in college students statistics in 2020 below:

  • 45% of college students say they feel like experiencing “more than average” stress. (WhatToBecome, 2021)
  • 20% of the student body report having been stressed six or more times in the past year. (WhatToBecome, 2021)
  • 68% of students in four-year US colleges live away from their homes, which is a source of trauma and stress. WhatToBecome, 2021)
  • On average, 40% of US college students feel well-rested for only two days a week. (WhatToBecome, 2021)
  • 30.5% of college students report that intimate relationships are a major stressor. (WhatToBecome, 2021)
  • Around 50% of college students are suffering from stress. (WhatToBecome, 2021)
  • 31% of students say that finals and exams are the biggest stressors, followed by worries over entering the workforce (24%), and mountains of coursework (23%). (WhatToBecome, 2021)
  • 58% of college students say they were “moderately,” “very” or “extremely” concerned about their mental health. (Inside Higher Ed, 2020)
  • 9 out of 10 college students feel tired, dragged out, or sleepy within the past seven days. (Statista, 2020)
  • 48.3% of American college students who sought treatment suffered from anxiety, depression, or stress. Stress, in particular, accounted for 5.9% of the reported issues. (Statista, 2020)
  • 75% of students have experienced a sense of “overwhelming anxiety” at some time, and 30% reported overwhelming anxiety during the last two weeks. (ACHA, 2019)
  • 35.3% of college students reported stress as the reason for negatively affecting their academic work. (ACHA, 2019)
  • 51.7% of college students have described academics as being traumatic or difficult to handle. (ACHA, 2019)
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Students' Biggest Challenges in 2020

Students' Biggest Challenges in 2020
Stress, anxiety, loneliness : 44

Stress, anxiety, loneliness

%
Students' Biggest Challenges in 2020
Keeping up academically: 21

Keeping up academically

%
Students' Biggest Challenges in 2020
Having a space that is good for studying or participating in class: 14

Having a space that is good for studying or participating in class

%
Students' Biggest Challenges in 2020
Paying for tuition, books, and other costs: 14

Paying for tuition, books, and other costs

%
Students' Biggest Challenges in 2020
Reiiable internet and computer access: 5

Reiiable internet and computer access

%
Students' Biggest Challenges in 2020
Taking care of people who depend on me while I'm in school: 3

Taking care of people who depend on me while I'm in school

%

Source: Strada College Pulse Survey

Designed by

College Mental Health Support Statistics

Being far away from home, expensive tuition costs, and a brutal course schedule can often overwhelm the average college student. Fortunately, there are ways to cope with this unwelcome stress. You can get support from your new friends and peers, involve yourself in cause-oriented groups, or avail yourself of services provided by the school’s mental health services department. This is true especially in this time when the COVID-19 pandemic has yet to show signs of leaving anytime soon. However, having available facilities does not automatically mean students are actively getting help. Refer to the college statistics focused on school mental health services for eye-opening insights:

  • 58% of college students say they were “moderately,” “very” or “extremely” concerned about their mental health. (Inside Higher Ed, 2020)
  • 46% report feeling anxious about returning to a physical campus during the fall semester. (Inside Higher Ed, 2020)
  • Extremely high-stress levels and mental health issues among both high school and college students have resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic. (Chest, 2020)
  • Around 70% of students say their campus administration has been supportive or very supportive during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Boston University, 2020)
  • 78% of students see their teachers as having been supportive. (Boston University, 2020)
  • Based on the symptoms they have experienced, 15% of students believe that they may have had COVID-19. (Boston University, 2020) 
  • Only 1% of students reported having tested positively for COVID-19. (Boston University, 2020)
  • 60% believe they were susceptible to getting the virus. (Boston University, 2020)
  • About 65% of students are very or extremely concerned about the length of the pandemic. (Boston University, 2020)
  • 64% are very or extremely concerned about their loved ones contracting the virus. (Boston University, 2020)
  • Of college students that availed mental health services, only 20.3% have availed services from college/university counseling or health services. (ACHA, 2019)
  • 61% of U.S. college students received information from their college or university about stress reduction. (ACHA, 2019)
  • 54.2% of surveyed mental health clinicians believe that anxiety, depression, and stress are the top concerns of their college student patients. (ACHA, 2019)
  • 41% of US college students terminated their mental health services due to the end of the term or semester. (ACHA, 2019)
  • It takes a college student an average waiting time of seven business days before their first appointment with a college counselor. (AUCCCD)

college mental health statistics

Gun Violence and School Shooting Stress Statistics

Historically, the US remains a hotbed for gun-related violence, even in schools. As a result, the increasing reports of mass shootings have stressed students across the country. The threat of a school shooting or more violence can push students to consider not attending classes, or packing up and going home. To illustrate this point, below are student stress statistics related to gun violence and school shootings:

  • Between 2013 to 2019, there were 549 incidents of gunfire on school grounds. Of the total, 63% occurred on the grounds of an elementary, middle, or high school. (Everytown, 2021)
  • Every year, 3 million schoolchildren get exposed to gun violence. (Everytown, 2021)
  • Compared to white students, black high school students in the US are two times more likely to miss school due to safety issues. (Everytown, 2021)
  • The US reported a total of 45 school shootings in 46 weeks in 2019. As a result, this number produced an average of almost one school shooting per school week. (Everytown, 2021)
  • 57.6% of the shootings occurred after a school sporting event. Specifically, basketball or football were the games in these events. (ABC News, 2019)

Source: everytownresearch.org

Stress Management is Key

School prepares adolescents for the real world. However, the pressures of competitiveness and expectations of higher education have inadvertently burdened school youths. Also, the exposure to daily threats of violence and bullying can add to even more student stress. Add to these students’ apprehension over the COVID-19 pandemic and we get stress levels that are at an all-time high.

Not all stress is bad. Sometimes, stress can be the ultimate key to survival as it harnesses your well-being and keeps you excited about life. Consequently, avoiding excessive stress may hold the key to an improved outlook in life, physically and mentally. More importantly, identifying and managing the causes of stress remains as the first crucial step toward awareness.

For parents and school administrators, support, and availability of services to help students cope with school remain a powerful tool to help them adjust. In addition, a supportive non-school environment is still the best option to decompress from the demands of school. Combining these may help students manage expectations better and help ease their pressure for their lives ahead.

 

References:

  1. Aiyer, A., Surani, S., Gill, Y., Ratnani, I., & Sunesara, S. (2020). COVID-19 anxiety and stress survey (CASS) in high school and college students due to coronavirus disease 2019. Chest158(4), A314.
  2. Horowitz, J. M., & Graff, N. (2020, May 30). Most U.S. teens see anxiety, depression as major problems. Pew Research Center.
  3. Tarsitano, N. (2019). Stress: An epidemic among college students. College News.
  4. Wallace, J. B. (2019, September 26). Students in high-achieving schools are now named an ‘at-risk’ group, study says. The Washington Post.
  5. After School. (2018, February 21). 45% of teens say they’re stressed “All the time,” turn to online resources and apps for help says poll on stress and mental health. GlobeNewswire.
  6. Berning, S. (2019, February 13). Taking on stress in high school: How teens deal with the workload. LSW Online.
  7. NCCD. (2019). Youth online: High school YRBS – 2019 results. CDC.
  8. CDC. (2018). Preventing bullying. CDC.
  9. U.S. Secret Service. (2019). Protecting America’s schools: A U.S. Secret Service analysis of targeted school violence. U.S. Secret Service.
  10. Cyberbullying Research Center. (2020, February 3). 2019 cyberbullying data. Cyberbullying Research Center.
  11. IES National Center for Education Statistics. (2018). Indicators of school crime and safety: 2018. BJS.
  12. StopBullying.gov. (2020, August 12). Facts about bullying. StopBullying.gov.
  13. Jacimovic, D. (2020, March 19). 18 eye-opening college student stress statistics. WhatToBecome.
  14. Anderson, G. (2020, September 11). Students in great need of mental health support during pandemic. Inside Higher Ed.
  15. Elflein, J. (2020, June 19). College student health in the U.S. Statista.
  16. ACHA, & NCHA. (2019). Fall 2018 reference group data report. ACHA.
  17. Jahnke, A. (2020, July 9). In college students, COVID-19 has increased depression rate and raised new barriers to mental healthcare. Boston University.
  18. AUCCCD. (2017). The Association for University and College Counseling Center Directors annual survey. AUCCCD.
  19. Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund. (2021, February 25). Keeping our schools safe. Everytown.
  20. ABC News. (2019, December 13). School shootings are more common than you may think: A look at the incidents that went under the radar in 2019. ABC News.
Astrid Eira

By Astrid Eira

Astrid Eira is a resident B2B expert of FinancesOnline, focusing on the SaaS niche. She specializes in accounting and human resource management software, writing honest and straightforward reviews of some of the most popular systems around. Being a small business owner herself, Astrid uses her expertise to help educate business owners and entrepreneurs on how new technology can help them run their operations. She's an avid fan of the outdoors, where you'll find her when she's not crunching numbers or testing out new software.

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