College Students Cite Stress as Key Factor in Academic Performance

Article excerpt

HONOLULU -- Stress was the most frequently cited psychological factor adversely affecting the academic performance of college students, according to a survey conducted in spring 2008 by the American College Health Association.

Almost 34% of students cited stress as a factor affecting academic performance, up from 29% in spring 2000, Dr. Adele L. Martel said at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

Sleep was the second most common psychological factor cited by the students, rising from 21% in 2000 to 26% in 2008.

Relationship difficulties, holding steady at about 15% between 2000 and 2008, have recently been overtaken by the Internet in their impact on academic performance, said Dr. Martel, who is affiliated with Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago.

Cited by only 9% of college students in 2000, the Internet affected the academic performance of nearly 17% in 2008, according to data from the National College Health Assessment, which surveyed more than 80,000 students on 106 campuses.

In 2008, 7% of students cited attention-deficit disorder, more than double the 3% who mentioned that as a factor in 2000. …