Schoolchildren as young as 10 are resorting to using cigarettes and unhealthy drinks to cope with exam stress a new study has found. Research by the firm Opinion Matters, undertaken on behalf of Kelloggs, looked at the habits of over 1000 schoolchildren undertaking their SATs.
It discovered that significant percentages of children smoked, ate chocolate and other unhealthy foods such as biscuits and sausage rolls.
The firm also did a second poll among 1000 parents. It discovered that 18% found their children’s behaviour actually became worse during the exam period and a significant percentage missed breakfast (59%).
Can better training among teachers and school nurses help reduce the problem? While dietary issues can be worked on, training also needs to be given for signs of potential depression and other issues among pupils studying for exams.
Mental health has been in the news lately on both sides of the Atlantic, with mental provision for young people being under scrutiny. Exam stress can undoubtedly lead to conditions such as depression, so it is important teachers and other professionals receive adequate training to help spot the signs before it’s too late, especially during exam time.