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Special Report - Student Stress Starts Early

WebMD Feature

Student Stress Starts Early
The Problem: PrematurePressure by Parents, Peers

Call it pressure. Call it great expectations. Whatever its name the result is the same: school stress.

By Daniel J. DeNoon
WebMD Medical News

It starts as soon as kindergarten. It turns play into competitive sport. It turns the joy of learning into a struggle to excel. It turns friends into social connections and charitable acts into a line on a resume.

In his 31 years of teaching, Richard L. Hall, PhD, has never seen a more stressful time. Hall is assistant headmaster of Atlanta's Lovett School, which enrolls some 1,500 students from pre-kindergarten through high school.

"It can be overwhelming," Hall tells WebMD. "Students are put in a position of feeling they just must not stop. They are not given a sense of support. They are put in an environment where they are not accepted for themselves but only for what they are going to achieve. All this builds stress."

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