Academic journal article Indian Journal of Positive Psychology

Academic Anxiety and Wellbeing Amongst Rural and Urban Adolescents

Academic journal article Indian Journal of Positive Psychology

Academic Anxiety and Wellbeing Amongst Rural and Urban Adolescents

Article excerpt

The term "adolescence" is a social construct, like other developmental phases in human growth and development, but unlike others, it breeds a lot of ambiguity. However, some experts view the term as a construct applied by adult members of the society to describe the person who is in the transition to acquire biological features peculiar to the adult population group. The term is derived from the Latin word meaning to grow up' or 'to grow into maturity'. Adolescence begins with the onset of physiologically normal puberty, and ends when an adult identity and behavior are accepted. This period of development corresponds roughly to the period between the ages of 10 and 19 years, which is consistent with the World Health Organization's definition of adolescence.

This imprecision in ages corresponding to adolescence reflects society's treatment of the period. Adolescents are no longer considered children, but not yet adults. Clearly, though, adolescence is the time of considerable physical and psychological growth and change. It is a time of emotional turmoil, mood swings, gloomy introspection, great drama and heightened sensitivity. It is a time of rebellion and behavioral experimentation.

Cognitive, emotional, attitudinal and behavioral changes which are the characteristics of adolescence, often take place during this stage, and this can be a cause of conflict on one hand and on the other hand it can have a positive impact on personality development.

Hence proper guidance at this crucial phase in life is all the more important for enhancing their self concept, self esteem and self confidence, enhancing their knowledge and skills in decision making, conflict resolution and management of emotions. The changing cognitive capacity of adolescents which allows for increased abstract reasoning often implies that an adolescent develops skills that enable her to cope with complex issues. Such issues can be, for instance, an ever increasing independence from parents, forming intimate relationships and focusing on career plans.

In this age of industrialization and technological development, the concept of anxiety is considered to be an important factor in psychology. Every alert citizen of our society realizes on the basis of his own experience as well as his observation of his fellowmen that anxiety is a pervasive and profound phenomenon in this era. It is a characteristic which could be found in all cultures in varying degrees. It has become an essential part of modem living and seems to permeate all spheres of life. Especially vulnerable to this problem are the adolescents who are living in an increasingly anxiety ridden atmosphere. They live in a world where nothing seems to be guaranteed with certainty and at the same time they are expected to perform at every front, the main being the academics. Adolescents often lack in academic motivation and performance, as their attention is divided among a lot many things especially at creating an identity for themselves. Once out of elementary school, they find their teachers, parents, and peers putting a new emphasis on deadlines, academics and mastering of large amounts of information.

Academic anxiety

Anxiety is one of the most common psychological disorders in school-aged children and adolescents worldwide. Anxiety is a physiological and psychological state characterized by cognitive, somatic, emotional and behavioral components.

Anxiety in general is described as an uncomfortable feeling of nervousness, worry and tension, which everyone feels from time to time. School and examinations are an inevitable aspect of most children's lives in today's world in which academic stress and test anxiety are ubiquitous problems (Deb, Chatteijee & Walsh, 2010; Yildirim, Ergene & Munir, 2007).

Anxiety is associated with substantial negative effects on children's social, emotional and academic success (McLoone, Hudson & Rapee. 2006). Specific effects include poor social and coping skills, often leading to avoidance of social interactions (Albano, Chorpita & Barlow, 2003; Weeks, Coplan & Kingsbury, 2009), loneliness, low self-esteem, perceptions of social rejection, and difficulty forming friendships (Bokhorst, Goossens & DeRuyter, 2001 ). …

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