Timothy O’Brien

“Stressed Out”: Impacts of Stress on Health, Academic Performance and Public Policy

Friday, April 12, 2019, 3:00 PM | Room 8

The American educational system provides for a myriad of opportunities for students to partake in both in and out of the classroom. However, constant pressure from academic, personal, extracurricular and socio-economic factors can lead to unhealthy amounts of stress and anxiety in students today. Roughly one in five American teenagers between the ages of 13-18 suffer from a mental illness according to the National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI). Excessive amounts of stress are known to hinder cognitive ability, especially in students who are over-exerted, and increase anxiety and other symptoms of mental illness. Through examining the educational system as a whole, we can see how education practices have changed, and how stress has increased because of it. By examining the socio-economic influence of stress, we can better understand the best ways to deal with stress, and how to alleviate these socioeconomic stressors in our school systems. Studies have shown that students perform better on assessments with little/no stress influence compared to those who have experienced situations of stress/anxiety during the tests. Through this research, we hope that by finding diverse ways to deal with stress, and realizing the stressors of the academic world, a more comprehensive education system that considers the mental well-being of its students along with their academic success will begin to take shape.

About Us

Catholic Memorial, the Christian Brothers School of Boston, prepares boys for college, manhood and a world full of unknown challenges, ambiguity and complex problems and the importance of relationships.


235 Baker Street
West Roxbury, Massachusetts 02132
Phone: 617-469-8000
Fax: 617-325-0888