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August 16, 2021

Is it time to get rid of homework? Mental health experts weigh in

by Sara M Moniuszko

homework

It's no secret that kids hate homework. And as students grapple with an ongoing pandemic that has had a wide-range of mental health impacts, is it time schools start listening to their pleas over workloads?

Some teachers are turning to social media to take a stand against homework .

Tiktok user @misguided.teacher says he doesn't assign it because the "whole premise of homework is flawed."

For starters, he says he can't grade work on "even playing fields" when students' home environments can be vastly different.

"Even students who go home to a peaceful house, do they really want to spend their time on busy work? Because typically that's what a lot of homework is, it's busy work," he says in the video that has garnered 1.6 million likes. "You only get one year to be 7, you only got one year to be 10, you only get one year to be 16, 18."

Mental health experts agree heavy work loads have the potential do more harm than good for students, especially when taking into account the impacts of the pandemic. But they also say the answer may not be to eliminate homework altogether.

Emmy Kang, mental health counselor at Humantold, says studies have shown heavy workloads can be "detrimental" for students and cause a "big impact on their mental, physical and emotional health."

"More than half of students say that homework is their primary source of stress, and we know what stress can do on our bodies," she says, adding that staying up late to finish assignments also leads to disrupted sleep and exhaustion.

Cynthia Catchings, a licensed clinical social worker and therapist at Talkspace, says heavy workloads can also cause serious mental health problems in the long run, like anxiety and depression.

And for all the distress homework causes, it's not as useful as many may think, says Dr. Nicholas Kardaras, a psychologist and CEO of Omega Recovery treatment center.

"The research shows that there's really limited benefit of homework for elementary age students, that really the school work should be contained in the classroom," he says.

For older students, Kang says homework benefits plateau at about two hours per night.

"Most students, especially at these high-achieving schools, they're doing a minimum of three hours, and it's taking away time from their friends from their families, their extracurricular activities. And these are all very important things for a person's mental and emotional health."

Catchings, who also taught third to 12th graders for 12 years, says she's seen the positive effects of a no homework policy while working with students abroad.

"Not having homework was something that I always admired from the French students (and) the French schools, because that was helping the students to really have the time off and really disconnect from school ," she says.

The answer may not be to eliminate homework completely, but to be more mindful of the type of work students go home with, suggests Kang, who was a high-school teacher for 10 years.

"I don't think (we) should scrap homework, I think we should scrap meaningless, purposeless busy work-type homework. That's something that needs to be scrapped entirely," she says, encouraging teachers to be thoughtful and consider the amount of time it would take for students to complete assignments.

The pandemic made the conversation around homework more crucial

Mindfulness surrounding homework is especially important in the context of the last two years. Many students will be struggling with mental health issues that were brought on or worsened by the pandemic, making heavy workloads even harder to balance.

"COVID was just a disaster in terms of the lack of structure. Everything just deteriorated," Kardaras says, pointing to an increase in cognitive issues and decrease in attention spans among students. "School acts as an anchor for a lot of children, as a stabilizing force, and that disappeared."

But even if students transition back to the structure of in-person classes, Kardaras suspects students may still struggle after two school years of shifted schedules and disrupted sleeping habits.

"We've seen adults struggling to go back to in-person work environments from remote work environments. That effect is amplified with children because children have less resources to be able to cope with those transitions than adults do," he explains.

'Get organized' ahead of back-to-school

In order to make the transition back to in-person school easier, Kang encourages students to "get good sleep, exercise regularly (and) eat a healthy diet."

To help manage workloads, she suggests students "get organized."

"There's so much mental clutter up there when you're disorganized... sitting down and planning out their study schedules can really help manage their time," she says.

Breaking assignments up can also make things easier to tackle.

"I know that heavy workloads can be stressful, but if you sit down and you break down that studying into smaller chunks, they're much more manageable."

If workloads are still too much, Kang encourages students to advocate for themselves.

"They should tell their teachers when a homework assignment just took too much time or if it was too difficult for them to do on their own," she says. "It's good to speak up and ask those questions. Respectfully, of course, because these are your teachers. But still, I think sometimes teachers themselves need this feedback from their students."

©2021 USA Today Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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Health Hazards of Homework

March 18, 2014 | Julie Greicius Pediatrics .

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A new study by the Stanford Graduate School of Education and colleagues found that students in high-performing schools who did excessive hours of homework “experienced greater behavioral engagement in school but also more academic stress, physical health problems, and lack of balance in their lives.”

Those health problems ranged from stress, headaches, exhaustion, sleep deprivation, weight loss and stomach problems, to psycho-social effects like dropping activities, not seeing friends or family, and not pursuing hobbies they enjoy.

In the Stanford Report story about the research, Denise Pope , a senior lecturer at the Stanford Graduate School of Education and a co-author of the  study published in the  Journal of Experimental Education , says, “Our findings on the effects of homework challenge the traditional assumption that homework is inherently good.”

The study was based on survey data from a sample of 4,317 students from 10 high-performing high schools in California communities in which median household income exceeded $90,000. Of the students surveyed, homework volume averaged about 3.1 hours each night.

“It is time to re-evaluate how the school environment is preparing our high school student for today’s workplace,” says Neville Golden, MD , chief of adolescent medicine at Stanford Medicine Children’s Health and a professor at the School of Medicine. “This landmark study shows that excessive homework is counterproductive, leading to sleep deprivation, school stress and other health problems. Parents can best support their children in these demanding academic environments by advocating for them through direct communication with teachers and school administrators about homework load.”

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Stanford research shows pitfalls of homework

A Stanford researcher found that students in high-achieving communities who spend too much time on homework experience more stress, physical health problems, a lack of balance and even alienation from society. More than two hours of homework a night may be counterproductive, according to the study.

Denise Pope

Education scholar Denise Pope has found that too much homework has negative effects on student well-being and behavioral engagement. (Image credit: L.A. Cicero)

A Stanford researcher found that too much homework can negatively affect kids, especially their lives away from school, where family, friends and activities matter.

“Our findings on the effects of homework challenge the traditional assumption that homework is inherently good,” wrote Denise Pope , a senior lecturer at the Stanford Graduate School of Education and a co-author of a study published in the Journal of Experimental Education .

The researchers used survey data to examine perceptions about homework, student well-being and behavioral engagement in a sample of 4,317 students from 10 high-performing high schools in upper-middle-class California communities. Along with the survey data, Pope and her colleagues used open-ended answers to explore the students’ views on homework.

Median household income exceeded $90,000 in these communities, and 93 percent of the students went on to college, either two-year or four-year.

Students in these schools average about 3.1 hours of homework each night.

“The findings address how current homework practices in privileged, high-performing schools sustain students’ advantage in competitive climates yet hinder learning, full engagement and well-being,” Pope wrote.

Pope and her colleagues found that too much homework can diminish its effectiveness and even be counterproductive. They cite prior research indicating that homework benefits plateau at about two hours per night, and that 90 minutes to two and a half hours is optimal for high school.

Their study found that too much homework is associated with:

• Greater stress: 56 percent of the students considered homework a primary source of stress, according to the survey data. Forty-three percent viewed tests as a primary stressor, while 33 percent put the pressure to get good grades in that category. Less than 1 percent of the students said homework was not a stressor.

• Reductions in health: In their open-ended answers, many students said their homework load led to sleep deprivation and other health problems. The researchers asked students whether they experienced health issues such as headaches, exhaustion, sleep deprivation, weight loss and stomach problems.

• Less time for friends, family and extracurricular pursuits: Both the survey data and student responses indicate that spending too much time on homework meant that students were “not meeting their developmental needs or cultivating other critical life skills,” according to the researchers. Students were more likely to drop activities, not see friends or family, and not pursue hobbies they enjoy.

A balancing act

The results offer empirical evidence that many students struggle to find balance between homework, extracurricular activities and social time, the researchers said. Many students felt forced or obligated to choose homework over developing other talents or skills.

Also, there was no relationship between the time spent on homework and how much the student enjoyed it. The research quoted students as saying they often do homework they see as “pointless” or “mindless” in order to keep their grades up.

“This kind of busy work, by its very nature, discourages learning and instead promotes doing homework simply to get points,” Pope said.

She said the research calls into question the value of assigning large amounts of homework in high-performing schools. Homework should not be simply assigned as a routine practice, she said.

“Rather, any homework assigned should have a purpose and benefit, and it should be designed to cultivate learning and development,” wrote Pope.

High-performing paradox

In places where students attend high-performing schools, too much homework can reduce their time to foster skills in the area of personal responsibility, the researchers concluded. “Young people are spending more time alone,” they wrote, “which means less time for family and fewer opportunities to engage in their communities.”

Student perspectives

The researchers say that while their open-ended or “self-reporting” methodology to gauge student concerns about homework may have limitations – some might regard it as an opportunity for “typical adolescent complaining” – it was important to learn firsthand what the students believe.

The paper was co-authored by Mollie Galloway from Lewis and Clark College and Jerusha Conner from Villanova University.

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Workload and Mental Well-Being of Homeworkers

In a non-pandemic setting, this study in homeworkers helps to identify the mechanisms by which employees' workload affects their mental well-being. The results show that work-family conflict, sleeping problems, and work engagement are key variables that make the effects of workload involved in reducing the homeworkers' well-being.

Based on the Conservation of Resources theory, this cross-sectional study investigates the relationship between workload experienced by employees when working at home and their mental well-being. Work-family conflict, sleeping problems, and work engagement are proposed as mediators.

A sample of 11,501 homeworkers was drawn from the sixth wave of the European Working Condition Survey data set.

Unlike the expected, the higher the workload, the higher the mental well-being of employees. However, as expected, high workload was correlated with lower well-being when indirect effects through work-family conflict, sleep problems, and work engagement were considered. Similarly, the total effect of workload on mental well-being was negative.

Conclusions

The study suggests that organizations should pay more attention to the amount of workload experienced by their homeworkers because it may be harmful to their health and well-being.

The percentage of employees working at home has risen over recent decades. 1 This way of working is called homeworking or, sometimes with slight conceptual differences, home-based teleworking. For reasons related to the COVID-19 emergency, it has been exponentially adopted in many organizations.

Scientific literature has identified several advantages of homeworking, such as homeworkers’ greater autonomy, increased job satisfaction and flexibility to deal with work-family demands, and limited traveling and time and cost savings for both organizations and workers. 2 However, in addition to benefits, literature identified social isolation, technostress, or workaholism as potential drawbacks of homework. 3 – 7 These contrasting results about homework lead to no consensus as to whether homeworking is good or bad for homeworkers. 2 , 3 , 8 , 9

A particular concern about homework is employees’ mental well-being. Recent research suggests that working from home may affect mental well-being because this work arrangement increases work/family conflicts and employees’ feelings of loneliness. 10 , 11 Furthermore, recent studies found that working from home leads to working at higher speed, meeting tight deadlines, greater work intensification, and overworking, which affect employees’ mental well-being. 12 – 14 Accordingly, in this study, we explore if workload is related to homeworkers’ mental well-being.

Research investigating how workload influences the well-being of employees is still scarce and scant 15 , 16 ; even more limited is the literature on the effects of workload on the mental well-being of homeworkers. 11 , 12 , 17 However, recent studies conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic observed that home workers’ workload negatively influenced their well-being by increasing their work-family conflict. 11

We investigated the relationship between homeworkers’ workload and well-being for three reasons. First, we believe it is essential to explore the relationship between workload and well-being because work conditions for homework are different from work conditions experienced at the office. For instance, homeworkers may experience more intrusions from family domains during homeworking. 18 A high workload may affect homeworkers differently than office workers and employees working remotely in other locations than the home. Second, considering the increase in homeworkers during the COVID-19 pandemic and that organizations were not prepared to implement homeworking for many or most of their workforce, 19 it is crucial to explore how workload is related to homeworkers’ well-being, to assist organizations in allocating reasonable workload to homeworkers. Third, the inconsistencies about the benefits of homeworking suggest that understanding how to enhance homeworkers’ well-being considering their workload may be a valuable research avenue.

We examined the relationship between homeworkers’ workload and their well-being by investigating multiple mediators that may influence this relationship. Thus, we based our argument on the Conservation of Resources (COR) theory 20 to explain how homeworkers’ workload may significantly influence their well-being by focusing on three potential mediating variables: work-family conflict, sleeping problems, and work engagement.

Workload and Mental Well-being

Workload is the intensity or the extent of work assigned to an employee in a specific time frame. 21 Based on this definition, homeworkers’ workload can be explained as the intensity or amount of job tasks accomplished within a specific time frame during homeworking.

The COR model posits that individuals endeavor to acquire, keep, foster, and guard things that they value (such as health, well-being, and family, but also objects, such as cars or tools for work, or energy resources, such as money or knowledge) and that well-being is at risk when people perceive the threat or the actual loss of one resource. 20 , 22 According to this theory, when employees perceive or experience an increased workload, they have to use resources (eg, time and energy) to cope with it. This may result in the depletion and loss of those same resources that could have been devoted to personal commitments and social connections. This awareness causes homeworkers to experience stress, negatively affecting their mental well-being. 22

Different studies reported that workload negatively affects employees’ mental well-being, supporting the assertion made by the COR theory. For example, in a traditional work context, Aalto et al 23 conducted a study on more than 1000 physicians and found that workload was negatively associated with physicians’ mental well-being. Angioha et al 24 observed that workload significantly and negatively affected the mental well-being of 650 government workers. Other studies supported the assertion that employees’ workload negatively affects their mental well-being. 25 – 27 We argue that the same process is also valid for homeworkers since previous studies 12 – 14 found that homeworkers are exposed to higher work intensification, work at high speed to meet tight deadlines, and overwork during a limited remote work time. Therefore, based on COR theory and the review of literature, we posit that:

  • H1 : Workload experienced by homeworkers is negatively related to their mental well-being.

Workload, Work-Family Conflict, and Mental Well-being

Work-family conflict is a topic widely explored in organizational literature because of its impact on individual and organizational outcomes. 28 It expresses the role conflict occurring because of incompatible demands between work and family domains. 29 Prior research has shown that the work-family conflict experienced by employees is significantly predicted by workload, 30 a result in line with the COR theory. In fact, the COR theory posits that people strive to obtain and conserve essential resources for social bonds such as family and friends. 20 , 22 Therefore, increased workload implies that individuals have to decrease the time and energy devoted to family members and family needs to meet the increased workload. Spending more time working because of a higher workload may often leave homeworkers emotionally exhausted, physically drained, and unable to have time and energy for family activities. 31 Faced with increased time and energy devoted to work rather than family, homeworkers may struggle to meet family needs, leading to work-family conflict.

In turn, work-family conflict may negatively affect employees’ work engagement. 28 , 32 A high work-family conflict requires resources to manage it, leaving workers with fewer resources to invest and diminishing employees’ work engagement. Obrenovic et al 33 explained that work-family conflict diminishes employees’ mental resources, affecting work engagement. Other studies indicated that work-family conflict experienced by workers negatively and significantly affects their work engagement. 32 , 34 In light of these empirical findings, we extend these results to homeworkers and, therefore, expect that their work-family conflict may negatively affect their work engagement.

The second corollary of the COR theory provides key cues to understand better the relationship between workload, work-family conflict, and well-being. This corollary emphasizes the spiral nature of resource loss and suggests that the initial loss of resources threatens the conservation of the remaining resources. 22 Hobfoll et al 22 explain that “because resource loss is more powerful than resource gain, and because stress occurs when resources are lost, individuals and organizations have fewer resources to offset resource loss at each iteration of the stress spiral. This creates resource loss spirals whereby losses gain in both impact and momentum” (p 107). Therefore, the initial loss of time and energy resources because of a higher workload threats the possibility to use the remaining resources, such as those related to relationships with family members. The actual loss of resources due to higher workload and the perceived threat of losing another resource, in this case, the family support resulting in work-family conflict, may gain both impact and momentum and further threaten other resources (eg, health and well-being), generating a spillover effect or what Hobfoll calls “spiral loss.” Building on the spiral loss of resources of the COR theory, we expect that the workload experienced by homeworkers is positively related to employees’ work-family conflicts, which in turn is negatively related to mental well-being. Therefore, we propose the following hypotheses:

  • H2a : Workload experienced by homeworkers is positively related to work-family conflict.
  • H2b : Homeworkers’ work-family conflict is negatively related to work engagement.
  • H2c : Homeworkers’ work-family conflict is negatively related to mental well-being.
  • H2d : The negative relationship between workload experienced by homeworkers and mental well-being is mediated by work-family conflict.

Workload, Sleeping Problems, and Mental Well-being

According to the empirical study by Aalto et al, 23 an increase in workload may negatively affect employees’ quality of sleep, leading to sleeping problems. Similar results also emerged from the research by Huyghebaert et al, 15 who found that increased workload might lead to impaired sleep quality and consequent emotional exhaustion. A meta-analysis of 79 studies conducted by Nixon et al 35 found that employees reporting higher workload reported sleeping problems due to the stress and exhaustion accompanying high workload. Based on this literature, we propose extending these findings to homeworkers by posing that their workload is significantly and positively related to their sleeping problems.

Sleeping problems are related to decreased work engagement. 36 According to Barber et al, 36 this occurs because a good sleep quality helps replenish and enhance self-regulatory resources after being exhausted or drained. On the contrary, sleeping problems may hinder a person from restocking self-regulatory resources depleted throughout the day. Accordingly, COR theory's desperation principle argues that people enter into a defensive mode to conserve remaining resources when previous ones have been stretched and drained. 22 This implies that employees would be less inclined to invest more resources into the tasks they have to accomplish when their self-regulatory resources have not been fully replenished due to sleeping problems. 37 Hence, it is possible to expect that homeworkers’ sleeping problems may harm their work engagement.

Prior studies found a relationship between sleeping problems and employees’ mental well-being. 38 , 39 The rationale of this result is that sleep is crucial in the optimum physiological and human psychological functioning, 36 and individuals who experience sleeping problems have poorer mental well-being than individuals not having such problems. 40 In fact, sleeping problems influence people's moods and emotions, leading to anxiety and depression. 40 , 41 This scenario is fully compatible with the spiral loss of resources in the COR theory. Hence, we expect that sleeping problems experienced by homeworkers because of increased workloads would have a significant adverse effect on their mental well-being. In particular, we believe that homeworkers’ workload may result in sleeping problems, which, in turn, decrease mental well-being. Thus, we posit that

  • H3a : Workload experienced by homeworkers is positively related to sleeping problems.
  • H3b : Sleeping problems experienced by homeworkers are negatively related to work engagement.
  • H3c : Sleeping problems experienced by homeworkers are negatively related to mental well-being.
  • H3d : Homeworkers’ workload has a negative indirect effect on well-being via the mediation of sleeping problems.

Workload, Work Engagement, and Mental Well-Being

Work engagement is defined as “a positive, fulfilling, work-related state of mind characterized by vigor, dedication, and absorption” 42 (p 74). Empirical findings show that workload decreases employees’ work engagement. 43 – 45 At the same time, the desperation principle of COR theory states that people get into a state of defensive mode to preserve resources when previous resources have been stretched and drained. 22 According to this rationale, workers would be less inclined to invest more resources into their work tasks when they feel too exhausted or physically drained due to the high workload. Hence, even homeworkers who experience the loss of resources such as time and energy due to increased workload may not be able to invest more time and energy into their work tasks, thereby negatively affecting their work engagement. Therefore, we propose that homeworkers’ workload negatively affects work engagement.

Regarding the effects of work engagement on the mental well-being of employees, Radic et al 46 suggested that more studies should examine this relationship. However, the existing research on work engagement and mental well-being found, in general, a positive relationship between these two constructs. 47 – 49 Yang et al 50 argue that work engagement is among the most significant drivers of job performance and the effort employees put into their work, thus increasing mental well-being. Therefore, work engagement should, in turn, contribute to self-development, leading to increased mental well-being. This expectation is in line with COR theory and, in particular, its second and third corollaries about resource loss cycles and gains spirals. Considering work engagement as a motivational resource, from which to obtain energy and dedication to important activities for individuals, 42 in the gain spiral, an increase in work engagement should lead to an increase in personal well-being, and likewise, a loss of engagement should worsen employees’ well-being. Based on the reviewed literature, we suggest that homeworkers’ workload is negatively related to work engagement, which, in turn, is positively related to mental well-being. Hence, we propose the following hypotheses:

  • H4a : Workload experienced by homeworkers is negatively related to work engagement.
  • H4b : Homeworkers’ work engagement is positively related to mental well-being.
  • H4c : There is a negative indirect effect of homeworkers’ workload on mental well-being via work engagement.

Finally, considering the mediation effect of work engagement between workload and mental well-being, the direct effect of workload on work-family conflict (H2a) and sleeping problems (H3a), and also the direct effect of work-family conflict (H2b) and sleeping problems (H3b) on work engagement, we posit two sequential mediation effects:

  • H4d : There is a negative indirect effect of homeworkers’ workload on mental well-being via work-family conflict and work engagement.

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Object name is joem-64-e647-g001.jpg

Research model for the study.

METHODOLOGY

Data sources.

The present study used data from the European Working Condition Survey (EWCS) conducted every 5 years, since 1990, by the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions. 51 The EWCS is a large-scale survey that provides cross-sectional data using random samples of workers in European countries, focusing on their work-life balance, working conditions, health, employment conditions, working environments, and well-being. 52 The Eurofound is a European Union body established by the European Council to offer better information and expert counsel on workers’ living conditions, changes in industrial relations and management among European countries, and contribute to the design and improvement of working and living conditions of workers in Europe. 52 Researchers have highly recognized the quality of the EWCS data set. 53 , 54

We used data of the sixth wave of EWCS collected in 2015, the most recently available data set as of the writing of this contribution. 51 The sampling procedure used for the survey was a multistage and stratified random sampling where each country was stratified into strata based on the geographical region and the level of urbanization. For our study, we extracted from the data set only respondents who reported having worked at home, answering to the following item: “How often have you worked in each location during the last 12 months—Your own home?” Participants that selected “never” were excluded from the study, whereas participants who selected “less often” to “daily” were included in the study. As a result, we obtained a sample of 11,501 homeworkers from 35 different countries.

The scales of the Eurofound survey used in this study are reported below. For all the scales, we reversed the data so that the higher the score, the higher the presence of the variable.

Workload: Two items, on a Likert scale from 1 (never) to 7 (all of the time), were used to measure homeworkers’ workload. The two items are as follows: “Does your job involve working to tight deadlines?” and “Does your job involve working at very high speed?”

Work-family conflict: Work-family conflict was measured using three items on a 5-point Likert scale from 1 (never) to 5 (always). The items are as follows: “How often have you… 1) kept worrying about work when you were not working? 2) felt too tired after work to do some of the household jobs which need to be done? and 3) found that your job prevented you from giving the time you wanted to your family?”

Sleeping problems: Sleeping problems were measured using three items on a Likert scale of 5 points (from 1 = never to 5 = daily). Items required to indicate how often, in the last 12 months, respondents experienced sleep-related problems (“difficulty falling asleep,” “waking up repeatedly during the sleep,” or “waking up with a feeling of exhaustion and fatigue”).

Work engagement: A three-item version of the Utrecht Work Engagement Scale 55 measured employees’ work engagement. A 5-point Likert scale was used, from 1 (never) to 5 (always). The items are “At my work, I feel full of energy,” “I am enthusiastic about my job,” and “Time flies when I am working.”

Mental well-being: Mental well-being was measured using the Well-Being Index developed by the World Health Organization in 1998, popularly known as the WHO (5) well-being index. The scale consists of five items on a Likert scale of 6 points, from 1 (at no time) to 6 (all of the time). Samples of items are “Been feeling over the last 2 weeks—I have felt cheerful and in good spirits” and “Been feeling over the last 2 weeks—My daily life has been filled with things that interest me.”

Control variables: The frequency of homework has multiple effects on homeworkers’ well-being. 56 , 57 Therefore, we created a dichotomous variable distinguishing the respondents working at home less frequently (grouping together those who responded “several times a month” and “less often,” coded as 1, N low = 5821) or more frequently (grouping together those who responded “several times a week” and “daily,” coded as 2, N high = 5860). Afterward, we tested the direct influence of this variable on the dependent variables of the model.

Data Analysis

Before the other analyses, an exploratory factor analysis (EFA) was run to check whether each item of the research instrument saturated in the factor theoretically related to it and to carry out a Harman single factor test to check for common method bias. 58 The EFA was conducted using the maximum likelihood and the Oblimin rotation.

To assess the measurement model and the structural validity of the measures, we ran two confirmatory factor analyses (CFAs), one grouping items in their expected factor and one grouping all the items in a single factor. To assess convergent and divergent validity and the reliability of the scales, we computed, respectively, the average variance extracted (AVE), the maximum shared variance (MSV), and composite reliability (CR). Cronbach alpha was computed for each variable in the study. Descriptive statistics and correlations among variables were then calculated.

Finally, the hypothesized model was investigated using structural equation modeling (SEM). We used the maximum likelihood in the SEM environment to estimate model parameters. We used Fornell and Larcker's 59 and Hair et al's 60 indications to evaluate models’ fit and to use appropriate cutoffs. Following Hair et al, 60 we favored measures such as Root Mean Square Error of Approximation (RMSEA) (cutoff, <0.08) and the incremental measures of Comparative Fit Index (CFI) and Tucker–Lewis Index (TLI) (cutoff, >0.90) over measures such as the χ 2 , unreliable in this case because of its high sensitivity to sample size, for evaluating the models’ goodness of fit. We used SPSS 27 and Mplus 8 to perform all analyses.

Sample Characteristics

The extraction, from the entire EWCS data set, of the employees engaged in partial or total work-from-home activities resulted in the consideration of 11,501 workers. Participants were, on average, 45.5 years old (SD, 12.9); 48% were female, and 52% were male. Employees working in the private sector were 65.5%, whereas 22.9% reported working in the public sector. The average work hours in a week, intended as the sum of work in the office and at home, was 38.3 (SD, 14.9). Three tenth of the participants (29.1%) worked daily from home; about one fifth of them (20.2%) answered having worked from home several times a week, and the remaining respondents (50.6%) worked from home less frequently. Table ​ Table1 1 summarizes the sociodemographic characteristics of the participants.

Demographic Characteristics of the Research Participants (N = 11,501)

Exploratory Factor Analysis, CFAs, Validity, and Reliability of the Scales

The EFA showed no problems with the measurement instruments: the extracted five factors explained 67.05% of the variance, and each one was composed of the expected items with good factor loadings (minimum factor loading, 0.53). Harman single factor test, which forced the extraction of a single factor, demonstrated the absence of common method bias because the extracted single factor explained only 29.37% of the variance. After these preliminary analyses, we continued with the data analysis. Although we decided to test our research model using structural equations, following Hair et al, 60 we assessed the measurement model through CFAs. In particular, to exclude the absence of a common latent factor and assess the independence of the five measures, we conducted two CFAs, comparing a one-factor model grouping all the study items with a five-factor model in which each item saturated in its expected factor. The results showed that the one-factor model had a very poor fit ( χ 2 = 25,401.97; df = 104; P < 0.001; CFI = 0.56; TLI = 0.50; RMSEA = 0.15; Standardized Root Mean Squared Residual (SRMR) = 0.11). On the other hand, the fit of the five-factor model ( χ 2 = 2831.54; df = 94; P < 0.001; CFI = 0.95; TLI = 0.94; RMSEA = 0.05; SRMR = 0.04) was satisfying, implying structural validity of the model measures. For this model, all items reported saturation values in their factor higher than 0.50.

The minimum AVE score for the five scales was 0.46. Each value was greater than the corresponding MSV score (the highest MSV was 0.35). Furthermore, the square root of each AVE value was higher than the correlations between each considered variable and the other latent constructs, indicating discriminant validity. 59 All the CR values were over the 0.70 cutoff 60 and in the range 0.72 to 0.83, suggesting good reliability of the measures. Finally, according to Fornell and Larcker, 59 although AVE values were slightly lower than the 0.50 cutoff for three of the five study variables (AVE WFC = 0.46, AVE WENG = 0.49, and AVE W-BEING = 0.49), since CR was in every case higher than 0.60 (and 0.70), the convergent validity of the constructs has been considered adequate.

Cronbach Alphas, Descriptive Statistics, and Correlations Among Variables

Cronbach alphas for the five scales of the model showed values all above the threshold of 0.70, confirming excellent reliability of the model scales again. Together with means, standard deviations, and correlations, such values are reported in Table ​ Table2 2 .

Means, Standard Deviation, and Pearson Correlations Among the Study Variables

N = 11,501.

* P < 0.01.

** P < 0.01.

The average workload reported by homeworkers tended toward high values (mean, 3.56; SD, 1.74), suggesting that homeworkers reported working with moderately tight deadlines and at a high pace. Homeworkers reported having experienced limited level of work-family conflict (mean, 2.60; SD, 0.90) and limited sleeping problems (mean, 2.18; SD, 1.00). On the other side, homeworkers were in many cases engaged with their work (mean, 4.00; SD, 0.67) and in a condition of mental well-being (mean, 4.59; SD, 0.96).

Focusing on the correlations, Table ​ Table2 2 shows that workload was positively correlated with work-family conflict ( r = 0.37, P < 0.001) and sleeping problems ( r = 0.17, P < 0.001), but negatively correlated with mental well-being ( r = −0.03, P = 0.003). Work-family conflict was positively correlated with sleeping problems ( r = 0.35, P < 0.001) and negatively correlated with mental well-being ( r = −0.28, P < 0.001). Sleeping problems had a significant negative association with work engagement ( r = −0.24, P < 0.001) and mental well-being ( r = −0.40, P < 0.001), whereas work engagement had a positive correlation with mental well-being ( r = 0.44, P < 0.001).

Model Testing

The hypothesized model was tested using SEM. In this model, the control variable of the frequency of homeworking was tested on the mediational variables of work-family conflict and work engagement, since no significant correlations were instead obtained between this control variable and, respectively, sleeping problems and mental well-being.

The model as a whole, with the errors of the variables work-family conflict and sleeping problems correlated to improve the closeness of the model to the reality described by data, reported an adequate fit ( χ 2 = 3022.73; df = 107; P < 0.001; CFI = 0.95; TLI = 0.94; RMSEA = 0.05; SRMR = 0.04). In addition, all the measured items reported saturation values greater than 0.50 in their latent factors, confirming the CFA results and the good validity of the measures. Figure ​ Figure2 2 depicts the model results.

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Model standardized results. All the relationships are significant for at least P < 0.01.

According to the model results, the relationship between homeworkers’ workload and mental well-being was small but positive ( β = 0.04, P = 0.001; confidence interval [CI], 0.02 to 0.06). Thus, H1 was not verified, since the hypothesized relationship is significant but, contrary to expectations, positive.

Workload significantly and positively influenced work-family conflict ( β = 0.50, P < 0.001; CI, 0.49 to 0.52; hypotheses H2a supported). In turn, work-family conflict negatively affected work engagement ( β = −0.15; P < 0.001; CI, −0.18 to −0.13) and mental well-being ( β = −0.13, P < 0.001; CI, −0.16 to −0.11). Thus, H2b and H2c were fully supported. Even H2d was supported, and Table ​ Table3 3 shows the indirect effect of homeworkers’ workload on mental well-being via work-family conflict ( β = −0.07; P < 0.001; CI, −0.08 to −0.05).

Indirect Effects of Workload on Mental Well-Being Through the Mediators (H2d, H3d, H4c, H4d, and H4e)

MWB, mental well-being; SP, sleeping problems; WE, work engagement; WFC, work-family conflict; WLD, workload.

* P < 0.001.

Regarding the hypotheses about sleeping problems, H3a was supported because homeworkers’ workload was positively related to sleeping problems ( β = 0.23; P < 0.001; CI, 0.21 to 0.25). Sleeping problems was negatively related to work engagement ( β = −0.30; P < 0.001; CI, −0.32 to −0.28) and mental well-being ( β = −0.28; P < 0.001; CI, −0.30 to −0.26), supporting also H3b and H3c. Furthermore, the indirect effect of homeworkers’ workload on mental well-being via sleeping problems was also significant ( β = −0.06; P < 0.001; CI, −0.07 to −0.06), supporting hypothesis H3d (Table ​ (Table3 3 ).

Finally, an unexpected result was observed between homeworkers’ workload and work engagement. Workload was positively, rather than negatively, related to work engagement ( β = 0.09, P < 0.001; CI, 0.07 to 0.11). Hence, hypothesis H4a was not supported, although the relationship is significant and opposite to the hypothesis. However, as expected, homeworkers’ work engagement significantly and positively affected mental well-being ( β = 0.47, P < 0.001; CI, 0.45 to 0.49), supporting hypothesis H4b. Homeworkers’ workload showed also an indirect effect on mental well-being via work engagement ( β = 0.04; P < 0.001; CI, 0.03 to 0.05) (Table ​ (Table3), 3 ), supporting hypothesis H4c.

Indirect effects were then observed even in the two serial mediations. The mediations between workload and mental well-being via work-family conflict and work engagement ( β = −0.04; P < 0.001; CI, −0.04 to −0.03), and also that one via sleeping problems and work engagement ( β = −0.03; P < 0.001; CI, −0.04 to −0.03) were significant, thus supporting H4d and H4e.

Finally, the total indirect effect of workload on mental well-being, through the multiple mediators, as shown in Table ​ Table3, 3 , was negative and significant ( β = −0.16; P < 0.001; CI, −0.17 to −0.14). Hence, the negative indirect effects of workload on mental well-being are higher than the positive direct effect of these two variables; as a result, the total effect of the relationship between workload and mental well-being, calculated as the sum of direct and indirect effects, is therefore negative ( β = −0.12; P < 0.001; CI, −0.14 to −0.10).

Lastly, the control variable of frequency of homeworking revealed significant relationships with the tested variables. Positive, although small, effects were found between frequency of homeworking and, respectively, work-family conflict ( β = 0.06 P < 0.001; CI, 0.05 to 0.08) and work engagement ( β = 0.06 P < 0.001; CI, 0.04 to 0.07).

This study used the COR theory as theoretical background to investigate the relationship between homeworkers’ workload and mental well-being and the mediating effect of work-family conflict, sleeping problems, and work engagement. In light of this approach, we expected that employees’ workload at home was positively related to work-family conflict and sleeping problems and negatively related to work engagement. Furthermore, we expected that work engagement was, in turn, negatively related to work-family conflict and sleeping problems and positively related to mental well-being.

Most of our study hypotheses were supported. Homeworkers’ workload positively affected work-family conflict, sleeping problems, and, surprisingly, work engagement and had a total negative effect on mental well-being.

The positive effect of the workload on work-family conflicts and sleeping problems was also observed in previous studies reporting the positive effect of workload on work-family conflict 30 and sleeping problems 15 , 23 , 61 in employees working at official sites of their organization. Our result extends findings observed in the official workplace to the field of homework and confirms the applicability of COR theory to homeworking. Investing time and energy resources to cope with an increased workload may result in the depletion of energy resources needed to balance work and family life and have a good quality of sleep, consequently affecting mental well-being resulting from the stress experienced from the loss of resources.

However, study findings also reveal an unexpected result by reporting a positive relationship between workload on work engagement. This unexpected finding, although small ( β = 0.09; P < 0.001; CI, 0.07 to 0.11), is contrary to the one found by Ladyshewsky and Taplin, 62 who reported that workload negatively affects work engagement. Although this result was unexpected, other studies support the evidence reported in this research, suggesting that workload may not always be harmful but, in some cases, may have a positive effect on work engagement. 43 – 45 , 63 In other words, the workload may not always have a detrimental effect on work engagement. Instead, the relationship between these two variables could be curvilinear in the homeworking context, as already observed in the usual workplace. 45

Considering that workload was positively related to work-family conflict, sleeping problems, and, at the same time, also positively related to work engagement, our findings support previous studies that identified workload both as a hindrance and a challenge stressor 44 , 63 that increases employees’ work engagement to completing their challenging work, while also impacting work-family conflict and sleeping problems that diminish employees’ energy. 43

Focusing on the relationship between workload and well-being, we point out that, although the direct relationship was small but positive ( β = 0.04; P = 0.001; CI, 0.01 to 05), the total effect of workload on mental well-being, as mentioned above, was instead significant and negative ( β = −0.12; P < 0.001; CI, −0.14 to −0.10), thus suggesting that the three mediators in our model contribute to establishing that too much workload is negative for homeworkers. Therefore, this suggests that intervening in those factors (work-family conflict, work engagement, and sleeping problems) could reduce the negative effect of the workload on homeworkers’ well-being.

The importance of those three mediators is also confirmed by the simple direct relationships they have with mental well-being. This study shows that work-family conflict is negatively related to work engagement and mental well-being, thus supporting prior studies on work engagement 28 , 32 , 34 and employees’ well-being 33 , 64 and extending those findings to homeworkers. Although other studies used different theoretical approaches, our results are also coherent with the spiral loss of resources of the COR theory. Sleeping problems experienced by homeworkers had a significant adverse effect on work engagement and well-being, consistently with previous studies conducted in other contexts. 36 – 39 Based on the COR theory’s desperation principle, homeworkers may be less inclined to invest more resources into their work task (work engagement) when their self-regulatory resources have not been fully replenished due to sleeping problems. 37 The loss of this resource, in turn, may explain the loss of the other resource, which is well-being. Thus, our study sheds light on the potential mechanism that the resource loss of time and energy due to high workload compromises sleep quality, leading to the loss of other resources such as well-being.

Finally, despite the frequency of homeworking was marginally related to work-family conflict and work engagement, this variable was not related to mental well-being * . However, we believe that this latter result is also an interesting research finding because it suggests that workers’ mental well-being is not related to the mere frequency of homeworking, but to characteristics of the task and the context in which homeworking is carried out. Nevertheless, we believe these results should be read with caution and also interpreted considering other studies that suggest a curvilinear relationship between frequency of homeworking and some worker satisfaction outcomes. 56 , 57

THEORETICAL AND PRACTICAL IMPLICATIONS

In this study, we contributed to the literature on the relationship between workload and well-being in the context of homework by simultaneously exploring the mediational variables of work-family conflict, sleeping problems, and work engagement.

From a theoretical point of view, since research on the effect of workload on homeworkers’ well-being is limited, 15 , 16 we believe our findings, framed in the COR theory, 22 contribute to homeworking literature by showing that homeworkers’ workload has, on the whole, a negative impact on mental well-being and that workload contributes to increased work-family conflict, sleeping problems, and also work engagement that, in turn, affect mental well-being. This result is coherent with the resource caravans’ principle of the COR theory, which suggests that resources, or threats of resources, do not exist individually but travel in packs. 22 Thus, workload threatens mental well-being because it affects, at least, other two aspects that can become potential stressors, such as sleep and family relations.

Our results also show that workload is positively related to work engagement and positively related to mental well-being. Considering the second principle of the COR theory, which states that individuals invest resources to protect against resource loss, it seems that employees dedicate time, energy, and mental resources to work (in other words, become more engaged in their work) to compensate the adverse effects of the workload. Hobfoll et al 22 suggest that individuals, over time, learn how to adapt to stressors and how to use their resources effectively. Thus, a possible explanation of this result is that employees know that workload negatively impacts individual and family resources and, to mitigate such effects, they increase their work engagement to manage their work tasks, complete them quickly and effectively, and dedicate the remaining time to family duties or free time.

On the other side, our study also confirms that workload as a challenging or a hindrance stressor. 43 – 45 According to our results, the workload is related to both negative (increased work-family conflict and sleeping problems) and positive outcomes (work engagement), which confirms a complex relationship between workload and employees’ well-being that depends on the mediators included in the studies. Our findings suggest that workload is not only a threatening stressor but also a resource that enhances, through work engagement, employees’ mental well-being. Montani et al 45 observed that the relationships between workload and work engagement may be curvilinear. Thus, future studies should investigate under which conditions the positive sides of homework workload are observed and how positive and negative effects of workload coexist.

From a practical point of view, this research provides some insights that may help organizations and managers coordinate employees’ work. High amounts of workload are associated with work-family conflict and sleep problems, and these threaten the mental well-being of their employees, potentially affecting their effectiveness at work. On the other hand, we guess that a moderate extent of workload, compared with too low or too high, might enhance employees’ engagement with their work, leading them to feel better and, potentially, work better. Therefore, organizations should pay attention to employees’ workload and identify and avoid to assign tasks, with a too high or low workload to favor employees’ well-being and maximize their efforts.

Our study points out that offering homeworking alone may not be enough. Organizations implementing homeworking should also implement strategies to contain work-family conflict (eg, by considering employees’ childcare needs) and sleeping problems (eg, by promoting proper sleep-wake rhythms, including working on the proper use and correct timing of homework), as well as interventions aimed at fostering work engagement. Such organizational interventions seem promising directions to ensure that workload does not affect the mental well-being of homeworkers.

LIMITATIONS AND FUTURE RESEARCH

This study has different limitations. In particular, it used a cross-sectional research design, which limits the causal inferences between study variables. In addition, the cross-sectional mediational analysis may show mediational effects that exaggerate indirect effects among study variables that are different from effects observed using longitudinal studies or multiwave design. 65 To lessen this limitation, we used a large sample size to diminish biases in regression estimates because of measurement errors. 66 Furthermore, we point out that the study design does not exclude the possibility of reverse mediations between the investigated variables. For these reasons, future research may use a longitudinal design approach to more appropriately support the evidence found here.

Furthermore, another major limitation of the study is that data were collected before the COVID-19 pandemic. Although there are no rational reasons to think about changes in the tested relationships, future studies should verify if, in a postpandemic scenario, the conclusions drawn may still be applicable. Finally, we point out that this study used self-reported measures. Thus, they may lead to exaggeration or understatement on the part of the participants opening up to the tendency of common method bias, which may compromise the study's validity. Therefore, future studies using multirater measures should address this issue.

The present study sheds light on the underlying mechanisms of workload affecting employees’ mental well-being. Findings suggest that the workload experienced by homeworkers is related to work-family conflict, sleeping problems, and work engagement, which, in turn, affect mental well-being. This study contributes to the literature by providing new evidence on the relationship between workload and well-being, offering insights for academic research and organizational interventions on the complex relationship between workload and well-being in homeworkers. We conclude that organizations just offering homeworking without considering needs and duties when working at home are not enough to improve the well-being of homeworkers. Further work on appropriate home working conditions (eg, workload) may represent a good step forward to achieve the purpose of homeworking and improve homeworkers’ well-being. Hence, the present study offered significant knowledge and empirical evidence to help organizational policymakers and managers on the need to pay critical attention to employees’ workload during homeworking.

* Note: Although not included in our hypotheses, following the suggestion of a reviewer, we tested “frequency of homeworking” using a multigroup approach to highlight potential differences in the model in low- or high-frequency homeworking conditions. The results of this multigroup analysis are not included in this article because they confirmed that all relationships in the research model were significant and, in the same direction, in the low- and high-frequency homeworking conditions. These results are anyway available upon request to the corresponding author.

Funding Sources: No funding was provided for the conduct of this research. The publication costs of this open-access article were covered by the authors' university membership in the CARE-CRUI national contract with the publisher Wolters Kluwer for Lippincott Williams & Wilkins journals.

Conflict of Interest: Nothing to declare.

Ethical Considerations & Disclosure: This research fully respects the Declaration of Helsinki. All ethical guidelines were followed.

How Does Homework Affect Students Mental Health?

How Does Homework Affect Students Mental Health?

  • Post author By Zoro
  • March 12, 2024
  • No Comments on How Does Homework Affect Students Mental Health?

Homework is a big part of school and helps us do well in our studies. But, lately, people are worried about how it might affect how we feel. This blog will look into how does homework affect students mental health—the good and the not-so-good. Homework is awesome because it makes us better at things, helps us manage our time, and teaches us to be responsible. But sometimes, it can make us feel stressed or tired. 

Let’s explore both sides and figure out how we can make homework work better for us. Together, we can make sure that homework helps us learn and keeps us feeling good too!

Before we start talking about the homework, let us discuss some of its positive sides.

Table of Contents

The Positive Side of Homework

Critical thinking and problem-solving:.

Homework assignments often require students to engage in critical thinking and problem-solving. By tackling challenging problems independently, students develop analytical skills and the ability to approach complex issues with confidence. This cognitive engagement positively contributes to their mental development.

Consolidation of Knowledge:

Repetition is a key factor in learning, and homework provides an avenue for students to consolidate their understanding of academic concepts. Revisiting and applying knowledge through assignments reinforces learning, leading to a deeper comprehension of the subject matter. This reinforcement fosters a positive attitude towards learning and academic achievement.

Self-Directed Learning:

Homework empowers students to become self-directed learners. By independently researching, organizing information, and completing assignments, students take control of their education. This autonomy not only enhances academic performance but also cultivates a sense of self-efficacy, positively influencing their overall mental well-being.

Preparation for Future Challenges:

Beyond academic content, homework prepares students for future challenges in higher education and the workforce. The ability to manage tasks, meet deadlines, and assume responsibility for one’s work is a valuable skill set that extends beyond the classroom. This preparation instills a proactive and resilient mindset, contributing positively to students’ mental readiness for future endeavors.

Enhanced Communication Skills:

Some homework assignments involve written or oral communication, encouraging students to express their thoughts and ideas effectively. The development of communication skills is not only beneficial academically but also in various aspects of life. The ability to articulate ideas with clarity and confidence positively influences self-expression and interpersonal relationships, contributing to overall mental well-being.

Sense of Purpose and Achievement:

Successfully completing homework assignments provides students with a sense of purpose and achievement. Each completed task, no matter how small, contributes to a feeling of progress and accomplishment. This positive reinforcement fosters a healthy mindset, instilling the belief that effort and dedication lead to success, both academically and personally.

How Does Homework Affect Students Mental Health

The negative side of homework, diminished leisure time:.

A heavy load of homework can eat into the time meant for relaxation and hobbies, leaving students with limited opportunities to unwind. This lack of leisure can contribute to feelings of burnout and negatively impact their overall mental well-being.

Strain on Family Relationships:

Excessive homework can strain relationships at home as students struggle to balance academic demands with family time. This strain may lead to increased tension, creating an unhealthy environment that can contribute to stress and anxiety.

Reduced Personal Time:

Beyond impacting social life, an overwhelming amount of homework can also reduce a student’s personal time. Lack of time for self-care and personal activities can leave students feeling overwhelmed and contribute to a decline in mental health.

Negative Perception of Learning:

When homework becomes too demanding, it may lead students to associate learning with stress and pressure. This negative perception can affect their overall attitude towards education, potentially diminishing their interest in learning and harming their mental well-being.

Increased Pressure and Competition:

A constant stream of homework assignments may intensify the competitive atmosphere among students. The pressure to excel academically can create a stressful environment, fostering feelings of inadequacy and negatively impacting mental health.

Limited Time for Reflection:

Excessive homework often leaves little time for students to reflect on what they’ve learned. Reflection is crucial for understanding and internalizing knowledge, and the lack of it can contribute to a superficial understanding of subjects, potentially affecting mental clarity and overall well-being.

Finding The Balance

In the world of homework, it’s important to find a sweet spot that makes learning effective without stressing us out. One key is open communication—teachers, students, and parents chatting about what’s expected from homework. Clear rules and fair expectations make homework less overwhelming and more manageable.

Taking breaks during study time is like giving our brains a breather. Short breaks help us recharge, making it easier to concentrate. It’s like hitting the reset button for our minds, reducing stress, and making us feel better overall.

Quality matters more than quantity. Instead of drowning in lots of homework, we can focus on really understanding and using what we learn. It’s like enjoying a good meal rather than stuffing ourselves with snacks. This approach makes learning more meaningful and less stressful.

So, finding the balance means talking openly about homework, taking breaks to stay fresh, and focusing on understanding rather than piling up tasks. When we get this mix right, homework becomes a friendlier part of learning, helping our brains grow without causing unnecessary stress.

In the journey of homework and mental well-being, finding the right balance is like creating a recipe for success. By talking openly about homework, taking breaks, and valuing quality over quantity, we can make learning a more enjoyable experience. It’s not just about finishing tasks; it’s about understanding and growing.

Let’s remember that homework is meant to help us, not stress us out. So, as we navigate this homework adventure, let’s keep the communication lines open, take those refreshing breaks, and focus on the good stuff. When we find this balance, homework becomes a positive part of our learning journey, nurturing not just our minds but also our overall well-being.

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Is it time to get rid of homework? Mental health experts weigh in.

homework negative effect on mental health

It's no secret that kids hate homework. And as students grapple with an ongoing pandemic that has had a wide range of mental health impacts, is it time schools start listening to their pleas about workloads?

Some teachers are turning to social media to take a stand against homework. 

Tiktok user @misguided.teacher says he doesn't assign it because the "whole premise of homework is flawed."

For starters, he says, he can't grade work on "even playing fields" when students' home environments can be vastly different.

"Even students who go home to a peaceful house, do they really want to spend their time on busy work? Because typically that's what a lot of homework is, it's busy work," he says in the video that has garnered 1.6 million likes. "You only get one year to be 7, you only got one year to be 10, you only get one year to be 16, 18."

Mental health experts agree heavy workloads have the potential do more harm than good for students, especially when taking into account the impacts of the pandemic. But they also say the answer may not be to eliminate homework altogether.

Emmy Kang, mental health counselor at Humantold , says studies have shown heavy workloads can be "detrimental" for students and cause a "big impact on their mental, physical and emotional health."

"More than half of students say that homework is their primary source of stress, and we know what stress can do on our bodies," she says, adding that staying up late to finish assignments also leads to disrupted sleep and exhaustion.

Cynthia Catchings, a licensed clinical social worker and therapist at Talkspace , says heavy workloads can also cause serious mental health problems in the long run, like anxiety and depression. 

And for all the distress homework  can cause, it's not as useful as many may think, says Dr. Nicholas Kardaras, a psychologist and CEO of Omega Recovery treatment center.

"The research shows that there's really limited benefit of homework for elementary age students, that really the school work should be contained in the classroom," he says.

For older students, Kang says, homework benefits plateau at about two hours per night. 

"Most students, especially at these high achieving schools, they're doing a minimum of three hours, and it's taking away time from their friends, from their families, their extracurricular activities. And these are all very important things for a person's mental and emotional health."

Catchings, who also taught third to 12th graders for 12 years, says she's seen the positive effects of a no-homework policy while working with students abroad.

"Not having homework was something that I always admired from the French students (and) the French schools, because that was helping the students to really have the time off and really disconnect from school," she says.

The answer may not be to eliminate homework completely but to be more mindful of the type of work students take home, suggests Kang, who was a high school teacher for 10 years.

"I don't think (we) should scrap homework; I think we should scrap meaningless, purposeless busy work-type homework. That's something that needs to be scrapped entirely," she says, encouraging teachers to be thoughtful and consider the amount of time it would take for students to complete assignments.

The pandemic made the conversation around homework more crucial 

Mindfulness surrounding homework is especially important in the context of the past two years. Many students will be struggling with mental health issues that were brought on or worsened by the pandemic , making heavy workloads even harder to balance.

"COVID was just a disaster in terms of the lack of structure. Everything just deteriorated," Kardaras says, pointing to an increase in cognitive issues and decrease in attention spans among students. "School acts as an anchor for a lot of children, as a stabilizing force, and that disappeared."

But even if students transition back to the structure of in-person classes, Kardaras suspects students may still struggle after two school years of shifted schedules and disrupted sleeping habits.

"We've seen adults struggling to go back to in-person work environments from remote work environments. That effect is amplified with children because children have less resources to be able to cope with those transitions than adults do," he explains.

'Get organized' ahead of back-to-school

In order to make the transition back to in-person school easier, Kang encourages students to "get good sleep, exercise regularly (and) eat a healthy diet."

To help manage workloads, she suggests students "get organized."

"There's so much mental clutter up there when you're disorganized. ... Sitting down and planning out their study schedules can really help manage their time," she says.

Breaking up assignments can also make things easier to tackle.

"I know that heavy workloads can be stressful, but if you sit down and you break down that studying into smaller chunks, they're much more manageable."

If workloads are still too much, Kang encourages students to advocate for themselves.

"They should tell their teachers when a homework assignment just took too much time or if it was too difficult for them to do on their own," she says. "It's good to speak up and ask those questions. Respectfully, of course, because these are your teachers. But still, I think sometimes teachers themselves need this feedback from their students."

More: Some teachers let their students sleep in class. Here's what mental health experts say.

More: Some parents are slipping young kids in for the COVID-19 vaccine, but doctors discourage the move as 'risky'

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Is Homework Necessary? Education Inequity and Its Impact on Students

homework negative effect on mental health

The Problem with Homework: It Highlights Inequalities

How much homework is too much homework, when does homework actually help, negative effects of homework for students, how teachers can help.

Schools are getting rid of homework from Essex, Mass., to Los Angeles, Calif. Although the no-homework trend may sound alarming, especially to parents dreaming of their child’s acceptance to Harvard, Stanford or Yale, there is mounting evidence that eliminating homework in grade school may actually have great benefits , especially with regard to educational equity.

In fact, while the push to eliminate homework may come as a surprise to many adults, the debate is not new . Parents and educators have been talking about this subject for the last century, so that the educational pendulum continues to swing back and forth between the need for homework and the need to eliminate homework.

One of the most pressing talking points around homework is how it disproportionately affects students from less affluent families. The American Psychological Association (APA) explained:

“Kids from wealthier homes are more likely to have resources such as computers, internet connections, dedicated areas to do schoolwork and parents who tend to be more educated and more available to help them with tricky assignments. Kids from disadvantaged homes are more likely to work at afterschool jobs, or to be home without supervision in the evenings while their parents work multiple jobs.”

[RELATED] How to Advance Your Career: A Guide for Educators >> 

While students growing up in more affluent areas are likely playing sports, participating in other recreational activities after school, or receiving additional tutoring, children in disadvantaged areas are more likely headed to work after school, taking care of siblings while their parents work or dealing with an unstable home life. Adding homework into the mix is one more thing to deal with — and if the student is struggling, the task of completing homework can be too much to consider at the end of an already long school day.

While all students may groan at the mention of homework, it may be more than just a nuisance for poor and disadvantaged children, instead becoming another burden to carry and contend with.

Beyond the logistical issues, homework can negatively impact physical health and stress — and once again this may be a more significant problem among economically disadvantaged youth who typically already have a higher stress level than peers from more financially stable families .

Yet, today, it is not just the disadvantaged who suffer from the stressors that homework inflicts. A 2014 CNN article, “Is Homework Making Your Child Sick?” , covered the issue of extreme pressure placed on children of the affluent. The article looked at the results of a study surveying more than 4,300 students from 10 high-performing public and private high schools in upper-middle-class California communities.

“Their findings were troubling: Research showed that excessive homework is associated with high stress levels, physical health problems and lack of balance in children’s lives; 56% of the students in the study cited homework as a primary stressor in their lives,” according to the CNN story. “That children growing up in poverty are at-risk for a number of ailments is both intuitive and well-supported by research. More difficult to believe is the growing consensus that children on the other end of the spectrum, children raised in affluence, may also be at risk.”

When it comes to health and stress it is clear that excessive homework, for children at both ends of the spectrum, can be damaging. Which begs the question, how much homework is too much?

The National Education Association and the National Parent Teacher Association recommend that students spend 10 minutes per grade level per night on homework . That means that first graders should spend 10 minutes on homework, second graders 20 minutes and so on. But a study published by The American Journal of Family Therapy found that students are getting much more than that.

While 10 minutes per day doesn’t sound like much, that quickly adds up to an hour per night by sixth grade. The National Center for Education Statistics found that high school students get an average of 6.8 hours of homework per week, a figure that is much too high according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). It is also to be noted that this figure does not take into consideration the needs of underprivileged student populations.

In a study conducted by the OECD it was found that “after around four hours of homework per week, the additional time invested in homework has a negligible impact on performance .” That means that by asking our children to put in an hour or more per day of dedicated homework time, we are not only not helping them, but — according to the aforementioned studies — we are hurting them, both physically and emotionally.

What’s more is that homework is, as the name implies, to be completed at home, after a full day of learning that is typically six to seven hours long with breaks and lunch included. However, a study by the APA on how people develop expertise found that elite musicians, scientists and athletes do their most productive work for about only four hours per day. Similarly, companies like Tower Paddle Boards are experimenting with a five-hour workday, under the assumption that people are not able to be truly productive for much longer than that. CEO Stephan Aarstol told CNBC that he believes most Americans only get about two to three hours of work done in an eight-hour day.

In the scope of world history, homework is a fairly new construct in the U.S. Students of all ages have been receiving work to complete at home for centuries, but it was educational reformer Horace Mann who first brought the concept to America from Prussia. 

Since then, homework’s popularity has ebbed and flowed in the court of public opinion. In the 1930s, it was considered child labor (as, ironically, it compromised children’s ability to do chores at home). Then, in the 1950s, implementing mandatory homework was hailed as a way to ensure America’s youth were always one step ahead of Soviet children during the Cold War. Homework was formally mandated as a tool for boosting educational quality in 1986 by the U.S. Department of Education, and has remained in common practice ever since.  

School work assigned and completed outside of school hours is not without its benefits. Numerous studies have shown that regular homework has a hand in improving student performance and connecting students to their learning. When reviewing these studies, take them with a grain of salt; there are strong arguments for both sides, and only you will know which solution is best for your students or school. 

Homework improves student achievement.

  • Source: The High School Journal, “ When is Homework Worth the Time?: Evaluating the Association between Homework and Achievement in High School Science and Math ,” 2012. 
  • Source: IZA.org, “ Does High School Homework Increase Academic Achievement? ,” 2014. **Note: Study sample comprised only high school boys. 

Homework helps reinforce classroom learning.

  • Source: “ Debunk This: People Remember 10 Percent of What They Read ,” 2015.

Homework helps students develop good study habits and life skills.

  • Sources: The Repository @ St. Cloud State, “ Types of Homework and Their Effect on Student Achievement ,” 2017; Journal of Advanced Academics, “ Developing Self-Regulation Skills: The Important Role of Homework ,” 2011.
  • Source: Journal of Advanced Academics, “ Developing Self-Regulation Skills: The Important Role of Homework ,” 2011.

Homework allows parents to be involved with their children’s learning.

  • Parents can see what their children are learning and working on in school every day. 
  • Parents can participate in their children’s learning by guiding them through homework assignments and reinforcing positive study and research habits.
  • Homework observation and participation can help parents understand their children’s academic strengths and weaknesses, and even identify possible learning difficulties.
  • Source: Phys.org, “ Sociologist Upends Notions about Parental Help with Homework ,” 2018.

While some amount of homework may help students connect to their learning and enhance their in-class performance, too much homework can have damaging effects. 

Students with too much homework have elevated stress levels. 

  • Source: USA Today, “ Is It Time to Get Rid of Homework? Mental Health Experts Weigh In ,” 2021.
  • Source: Stanford University, “ Stanford Research Shows Pitfalls of Homework ,” 2014.

Students with too much homework may be tempted to cheat. 

  • Source: The Chronicle of Higher Education, “ High-Tech Cheating Abounds, and Professors Bear Some Blame ,” 2010.
  • Source: The American Journal of Family Therapy, “ Homework and Family Stress: With Consideration of Parents’ Self Confidence, Educational Level, and Cultural Background ,” 2015.

Homework highlights digital inequity. 

  • Sources: NEAToday.org, “ The Homework Gap: The ‘Cruelest Part of the Digital Divide’ ,” 2016; CNET.com, “ The Digital Divide Has Left Millions of School Kids Behind ,” 2021.
  • Source: Investopedia, “ Digital Divide ,” 2022; International Journal of Education and Social Science, “ Getting the Homework Done: Social Class and Parents’ Relationship to Homework ,” 2015.
  • Source: World Economic Forum, “ COVID-19 exposed the digital divide. Here’s how we can close it ,” 2021.

Homework does not help younger students.

  • Source: Review of Educational Research, “ Does Homework Improve Academic Achievement? A Synthesis of Researcher, 1987-2003 ,” 2006.

To help students find the right balance and succeed, teachers and educators must start the homework conversation, both internally at their school and with parents. But in order to successfully advocate on behalf of students, teachers must be well educated on the subject, fully understanding the research and the outcomes that can be achieved by eliminating or reducing the homework burden. There is a plethora of research and writing on the subject for those interested in self-study.

For teachers looking for a more in-depth approach or for educators with a keen interest in educational equity, formal education may be the best route. If this latter option sounds appealing, there are now many reputable schools offering online master of education degree programs to help educators balance the demands of work and family life while furthering their education in the quest to help others.

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Does Homework Cause Stress? Exploring the Impact on Students’ Mental Health

How much homework is too much?

homework negative effect on mental health

Jump to: The Link Between Homework and Stress | Homework’s Impact on Mental Health | Benefits of Homework | How Much Homework Should Teacher’s Assign? | Advice for Students | How Healium Helps

Homework has become a matter of concern for educators, parents, and researchers due to its potential effects on students’ stress levels. It’s no secret students often find themselves grappling with high levels of stress and anxiety throughout their academic careers, so understanding the extent to which homework affects those stress levels is important. 

By delving into the latest research and understanding the underlying factors at play, we hope to curate insights for educators, parents, and students who are wondering  is homework causing stress in their lives?

The Link Between Homework and Stress: What the Research Says

Over the years, numerous studies investigated the relationship between homework and stress levels in students. 

One study published in the Journal of Experimental Education found that students who reported spending more than two hours per night on homework experienced higher stress levels and physical health issues . Those same students reported over three hours of homework a night on average.

This study, conducted by Stanford lecturer Denise Pope, has been heavily cited throughout the years, with WebMD eproducing the below video on the topic– part of their special report series on teens and stress : 

Additional studies published by Sleep Health Journal found that long hours on homework on may be a risk factor for depression while also suggesting that reducing workload outside of class may benefit sleep and mental fitness .

Lastly, a study presented by Frontiers in Psychology highlighted significant health implications for high school students facing chronic stress, including emotional exhaustion and alcohol and drug use.

Homework’s Potential Impact on Mental Health and Well-being

Homework-induced stress on students can involve both psychological and physiological side effects. 

1. Potential Psychological Effects of Homework-Induced Stress:

• Anxiety: The pressure to perform academically and meet homework expectations can lead to heightened levels of anxiety in students. Constant worry about completing assignments on time and achieving high grades can be overwhelming.

• Sleep Disturbances : Homework-related stress can disrupt students’ sleep patterns, leading to sleep anxiety or sleep deprivation, both of which can negatively impact cognitive function and emotional regulation.

• Reduced Motivation: Excessive homework demands could drain students’ motivation, causing them to feel fatigued and disengaged from their studies. Reduced motivation may lead to a lack of interest in learning, hindering overall academic performance.

2. Potential Physical Effects of Homework-Induced Stress:

• Impaired Immune Function: Prolonged stress could weaken the immune system, making students more susceptible to illnesses and infections.

• Disrupted Hormonal Balance : The body’s stress response triggers the release of hormones like cortisol, which, when chronically elevated due to stress, can disrupt the delicate hormonal balance and lead to various health issues.

• Gastrointestinal Disturbances: Stress has been known to affect the gastrointestinal system, leading to symptoms such as stomachaches, nausea, and other digestive problems.

• Cardiovascular Impact: The increased heart rate and elevated blood pressure associated with stress can strain the cardiovascular system, potentially increasing the risk of heart-related issues in the long run.

• Brain impact: Prolonged exposure to stress hormones may impact the brain’s functioning , affecting memory, concentration, and cognitive abilities.

The Benefits of Homework

It’s important to note that homework also offers many benefits that contribute to students’ academic growth and development, such as: 

• Development of Time Management Skills: Completing homework within specified deadlines encourages students to manage their time efficiently. This valuable skill extends beyond academics and becomes essential in various aspects of life.

• Preparation for Future Challenges : Homework helps prepare students for future academic challenges and responsibilities. It fosters a sense of discipline and responsibility, qualities that are crucial for success in higher education and professional life.

• Enhanced Problem-Solving Abilities: Homework often presents students with challenging problems to solve. Tackling these problems independently nurtures critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

While homework can foster discipline, time management, and self-directed learning, the middle ground may be to  strike a balance that promotes both academic growth and mental well-being .

How Much Homework Should Teachers Assign?

As a general guideline, educators suggest assigning a workload that allows students to grasp concepts effectively without overwhelming them . Quality over quantity is key, ensuring that homework assignments are purposeful, relevant, and targeted towards specific objectives. 

Advice for Students: How to balance Homework and Well-being

Finding a balance between academic responsibilities and well-being is crucial for students. Here are some practical tips and techniques to help manage homework-related stress and foster a healthier approach to learning:

• Effective Time Management : Encourage students to create a structured study schedule that allocates sufficient time for homework, breaks, and other activities. Prioritizing tasks and setting realistic goals can prevent last-minute rushes and reduce the feeling of being overwhelmed.

• Break Tasks into Smaller Chunks : Large assignments can be daunting and may contribute to stress. Students should break such tasks into smaller, manageable parts. This approach not only makes the workload seem less intimidating but also provides a sense of accomplishment as each section is completed.

• Find a Distraction-Free Zone : Establish a designated study area that is free from distractions like smartphones, television, or social media. This setting will improve focus and productivity, reducing time needed to complete homework.

• Be Active : Regular exercise is known to reduce stress and enhance mood. Encourage students to incorporate physical activity into their daily routine, whether it’s going for a walk, playing a sport, or doing yoga.

• Practice Mindfulness and Relaxation Techniques : Encourage students to engage in mindfulness practices, such as deep breathing exercises or meditation, to alleviate stress and improve concentration. Taking short breaks to relax and clear the mind can enhance overall well-being and cognitive performance.

• Seek Support : Teachers, parents, and school counselors play an essential role in supporting students. Create an open and supportive environment where students feel comfortable expressing their concerns and seeking help when needed.

How Healium is Helping in Schools

Stress is caused by so many factors and not just the amount of work students are taking home.  Our company created a virtual reality stress management solution… a mental fitness tool called “Healium” that’s teaching students how to learn to self-regulate their stress and downshift in a drugless way. Schools implementing Healium have seen improvements from supporting dysregulated students and ADHD challenges to empowering students with body awareness and learning to self-regulate stress . Here’s one of their stories. 

By providing students with the tools they need to self-manage stress and anxiety, we represent a forward-looking approach to education that prioritizes the holistic development of every student. 

To learn more about how Healium works, watch the video below.

About the Author

homework negative effect on mental health

Sarah Hill , a former interactive TV news journalist at NBC, ABC, and CBS affiliates in Missouri, gained recognition for pioneering interactive news broadcasting using Google Hangouts. She is now the CEO of Healium, the world’s first biometrically powered immersive media channel, helping those with stress, anxiety, insomnia, and other struggles through biofeedback storytelling. With patents, clinical validation, and over seven million views, she has reshaped the landscape of immersive media.

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How Does Homework Affect Students’ Mental Health?

Health, social life, and academic performance may all be impacted by homework. So here is how homework affects students’ mental health.

Nobody bargained or requested homework, so it is an after-school obligation. It is merely the additional work that every student is required to complete over a set period of time after school each day. Depending on the school, the teacher, and the student’s abilities, homework assignments could take more or less time.

A benefit of homework for students is that it helps them develop soft skills like organization and time management, which are crucial after high school. However, the extra work frequently makes both the child and the parents anxious. Some students may find themselves getting border and border as their homework load increases.

Read and learn more about homework and students’ mental health.

Table of Contents

It should come as no surprise that excessive homework can cause stress and anxiety. According to studies, students who receive an excessive amount of homework are more likely to exhibit depressive symptoms, such as feeling overwhelmed, unmotivated, and lonely.

In addition to these psychological repercussions, doing too much homework can cause physical problems like headaches, fatigue, and restless nights.

The negative effects of having too much homework can be even worse for kids. Inadequacy and frustration may result from children feeling under pressure to complete assignments accurately and promptly. Due to their intense workloads, they might also feel as though they are missing out on important social interactions with their friends.

How Does Homework Affect Students' Mental Health?

The Negative Impact of Homework

The following are some of the factors that make homework demanding, depressing, and harmful to students’ mental health. Students’ mental health is continually in jeopardy as they work diligently on their assignments for alarmingly long periods of time. These compelling defenses against excessive homework are provided.

No Uniqueness

The purpose of homework should be to inspire kids to express themselves more creatively. The tasks that teachers give students must be engaging and emphasize their individuality. similar to writing an essay on a topic they enjoy.

Additionally, it’s important to support the child rather than criticize him for producing a subpar essay so that he can express himself more creatively.

Lack of Sleep

Lack of sleep is one of the most common negative effects of schoolwork. As a result of staying up late to finish their homework, students on average only get about 5 hours of sleep each night, despite the fact that humans require at least 7 hours of sleep each day. Both physical and mental health are impacted by sleep deprivation.

No Pleasure

When students are having fun, they learn more effectively. Usually, when their minds are not clouded by fear, they learn things more quickly. However, the element of fear that the majority of teachers introduce into homework prompts children to use unethical methods to complete their assignments.

How Does Homework Affect Students' Mental Health?

Excessive Homework

In the current educational system, there is a lack of coordination between the teachers. Teachers consequently frequently end up giving students far more work than they can handle. In these situations, kids resort to doing their homework for them by either copying their friends’ work or using online homework helpers.

Anxiety Level

Stress brought on by homework can make people more anxious, which may lower their blood pressure levels. Do you know that in the United States, 3.5% of young people have high blood pressure?

Why then, when homework is supposed to be fun and something kids look forward to doing, does it often cause stress in kids? It is straightforward to refute this claim by stating that schoolwork is never enjoyable, but with some careful thought and planning, homework may actually be enjoyable.

No Time for Personal Matters

When students have too much homework, they don’t have enough free time. They are ecstatic all the time. For hobbies, socializing with coworkers, and other activities, there isn’t much time left.

Due to a lack of time, many students, however, dislike completing their assignments. They may stop learning as they come to hate it. It has a serious detrimental effect on their mental health in any case.

How Does Homework Affect Students' Mental Health?

Everyone needs a break from time to time, including kids. Schools should take into account providing weekends without homework so that children can relax and get ready for the upcoming week. Having to complete homework every day of the week without a break could be demanding.

How Can Parents Help?

When it comes to protecting their kids’ mental health from the effects of homework, parents can be a huge help. The completion of assignments on time and without excessive stress can be ensured by talking to kids about expectations and limits.

Encouragement of communication about any issues kids might be having with their homework is also crucial. If kids say they’re frustrated or overwhelmed, parents should be understanding and supportive.

Parents should also pay attention to how much time their kids spend on their homework. Reevaluating the amount of homework assigned may be necessary if a child consistently struggles to finish assignments within the allotted timeframe.

In order to make sure that their kids are still having fun and interacting with other kids, parents should keep an eye on what their kids are doing.

Conclusion: Too Much Homework

In summary, too much homework can be bad for students’ mental health. Finding a balance between schoolwork and extracurricular activities is crucial for students, and parents can be very helpful in assisting their kids with workload management.

Therefore, it’s crucial to strike a balance that guarantees students comprehend the material covered in class without becoming overworked.

Does Homework Affect Your Brain?

Practice is a process that makes sure knowledge is ingrained in the brain. By repeating new skills, one can improve their memory and learn new ones. The purpose of homework, which is based on classwork, is to help students integrate new skills through practice.

Do Teachers Assign Too Much Homework?

Statistics show that giving students too much homework can be unhealthy for their health, leading to anxiety and burnout. Most teachers assign roughly 1-2 pages of homework , which may not appear to be much at first, but when added together, it can easily overwhelm a student.

What Are the Problems With Homework?

Many students wrote that homework causes them to sleep less than they should and leads to “ headaches, exhaustion, sleep deprivation, weight loss, and stomach problems ” as well as a lack of balance in their lives. The majority struggled with anxiety and/or had trouble finding time for important tasks outside of school.

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The Mental Health Impact of Excessive Homework on Students

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By Happy Sharer

homework negative effect on mental health

Introduction

Homework has been an integral part of the educational system for decades. While it is important for students to do their homework, excessive amounts of homework can have a negative impact on their mental health. The purpose of this article is to explore how too much homework affects mental health, what strategies can be used to manage the problem, and the role of parents in preventing homework-related mental health issues.

Examining the Mental Health Impacts of Excessive Homework

Examining the Mental Health Impacts of Excessive Homework

It is no surprise that too much homework can lead to stress and anxiety. Studies have shown that when students are given too much homework, they are more likely to experience symptoms of depression, including feeling overwhelmed, unmotivated, and isolated. In addition to these psychological effects, too much homework can also lead to physical ailments such as headaches, fatigue, and poor sleep.

When it comes to children, the effects of too much homework can be even more severe. Children may feel pressure to complete assignments quickly and accurately, leading to feelings of inadequacy and frustration. They may also feel like they are missing out on important social activities with their friends due to their heavy workloads.

How Balancing School Work and Social Life Can Help Manage Mental Health

Maintaining a healthy balance between school work and leisure activities is essential to managing mental health. It is important to remember that while homework is important, it should not take precedence over other aspects of life. Taking regular breaks and engaging in enjoyable activities can help reduce stress levels and improve mental wellbeing.

In addition, setting realistic expectations and creating a schedule for completing assignments can help students manage their workload. Allowing for some flexibility in the schedule can also be beneficial, as it allows for unexpected changes or delays. Furthermore, establishing a quiet, distraction-free workspace can help students stay focused and motivated.

The Role of Parents in Preventing Homework-Related Mental Health Issues

Parents can play an important role in helping their children prevent homework-related mental health issues. Talking to children about expectations and limits can help ensure that assignments are completed on time and without undue stress. It is also important to encourage communication about any difficulties children may be having with their homework. Parents should be supportive and understanding if children express feeling overwhelmed or frustrated.

In addition, parents should be mindful of the amount of time their children are spending on homework. If a child is consistently struggling to complete assignments within the allotted timeframe, it may be necessary to reassess the amount of homework given. Parents should also monitor their children’s activities to ensure that they are still engaging in leisure activities and socializing with their peers.

In conclusion, excessive homework can have a detrimental effect on students’ mental health. It is important for students to find a balance between schoolwork and leisure activities, and parents can play an important role in helping their children manage their workloads. By discussing expectations and setting limits on homework, parents can help ensure that their children are able to complete their assignments without feeling overwhelmed or stressed.

(Note: Is this article not meeting your expectations? Do you have knowledge or insights to share? Unlock new opportunities and expand your reach by joining our authors team. Click Registration to join us and share your expertise with our readers.)

Hi, I'm Happy Sharer and I love sharing interesting and useful knowledge with others. I have a passion for learning and enjoy explaining complex concepts in a simple way.

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How Homework Is Destroying Teens’ Health

Jessica Amabile '24 , Staff Writer March 25, 2022

homework negative effect on mental health

“[Students] average about 3.1 hours of homework each night,” according to an article published by Stanford .  Teens across the country come home from school, exhausted from a long day, only to do more schoolwork.  They sit at their computers, working on homework assignments for hours on end.  To say the relentless amount of work they have to do is overwhelming would be an understatement.  The sheer amount of homework given has many negative impacts on teenagers.

Students have had homework for decades, but in more recent years it has become increasingly more demanding.  Multiple studies have shown that students average about three hours of homework per night.  The Atlantic mentioned that students now have twice as much homework as students did in the 1990s.  This is extremely detrimental to teens’ mental health and levels of stress.  Students have a lot to do after school, such as spending time with family, extracurricular activities, taking care of siblings or other family members, hanging out with friends, or all of the above.  Having to juggle all of this as well as hours on end of homework is unreasonable because teenagers already have enough to think or worry about.   

According to a student- run survey conducted in Cherry Hill West, students reported that they received the most homework in math, history, and language arts classes.  They receive anywhere from 1 to 4 or more hours of homework every day, but only about 22.7% somewhat or strongly agree that it helps them learn.  Of the students who participated, 63.6% think schools should continue to give out homework sometimes, while 27.3% said they should not give out homework at all.  In an open-ended response section, students had a lot to say.  One student wrote, “I think we should get homework to practice work if we are seen struggling, or didn’t finish work in class. But if we get homework, I think it just shows that the teacher needs more time to teach and instead of speeding up, gives us more work.”  Another added,  “Homework is important to learn the material. However, too much may lead to the student not learning that much, or it may become stressful to do homework everyday.”  Others wrote, “The work I get in chemistry doesn’t help me learn at all if anything it confuses me more,” and “I think math is the only class I could use homework as that helps me learn while world language is supposed to help me learn but feels more like a time waste.”   A student admitted, “I think homework is beneficial for students but the amount of homework teachers give us each day is very overwhelming and puts a lot of stress on kids. I always have my work done but all of the homework I have really changes my emotions and it effects me.”  Another pointed out, “you are at school for most of your day waking up before the sun and still after all of that they send you home each day with work you need to do before the next day. Does that really make sense[?]”

homework negative effect on mental health

As an article from Healthline mentioned, “Researchers asked students whether they experienced physical symptoms of stress… More than 80 percent of students reported having at least one stress-related symptom in the past month, and 44 percent said they had experienced three or more symptoms.”  If school is causing students physical symptoms of stress, it needs to re-evaluate whether or not homework is beneficial to students, especially teenagers.  Students aren’t learning anything if they have hours of “busy work” every night, so much so that it gives them symptoms of stress, such as headaches, weight loss, sleep deprivation, and so on.  The continuous hours of work are doing nothing but harming students mentally and physically.

homework negative effect on mental health

The mental effects of homework can be harmful as well.  Mental health issues are often ignored, even when schools can be the root of the problem.  An article from USA Today contained a quote from a licensed therapist and social worker named Cynthia Catchings, which reads, “ heavy workloads can also cause serious mental health problems in the long run, like anxiety and depression.”  Mental health problems are not beneficial in any way to education.  In fact, it makes it more difficult for students to focus and learn.  

Some studies have suggested that students should receive less homework.  To an extent, homework can help students in certain areas, such as math.  However, too much has detrimental impacts on their mental and physical health.  Emmy Kang, a mental health counselor, has a suggestion.  She mentioned, “I don’t think (we) should scrap homework; I think we should scrap meaningless, purposeless busy work-type homework. That’s something that needs to be scrapped entirely,” she says, encouraging teachers to be thoughtful and consider the amount of time it would take for students to complete assignments,” according to USA Today .  Students don’t have much control over the homework they receive, but if enough people could explain to teachers the negative impacts it has on them, they might be convinced.  Teachers need to realize that their students have other classes and other assignments to do.  While this may not work for everything, it would at least be a start, which would be beneficial to students.

The sole purpose of schools is to educate children and young adults to help them later on in life.  However, school curriculums have gone too far if hours of homework for each class are seen as necessary and beneficial to learning.  Many studies have shown that homework has harmful effects on students, so how does it make sense to keep assigning it?  At this rate, the amount of time spent on homework will increase in years to come, along with the effects of poor mental and physical health.  Currently, students do an average of 3 hours of homework, according to the Washington Post, and the estimated amount of teenagers suffering from at least one mental illness is 1 in 5, as Polaris Teen Center stated.  This is already bad enough–it’s worrisome to think it could get much worse.  Homework is not more important than physical or mental health, by any standards.

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Exercise Is Great for Mental Health, But How Much Is Too Much?

Karen Cilli is a fact-checker for Verywell Mind. She has an extensive background in research, with 33 years of experience as a reference librarian and educator.

homework negative effect on mental health

Pekic / Getty Images

Key Takeaways

  • Intense workouts might be detrimental to mental health, new research has suggested.
  • Memory might also be affected by more intense exercise.
  • Exercise has many benefits, but there's no one-size-fits-all approach—a personalized exercise routine is best.

It's common knowledge that exercise has lots of psychological benefits, but how much is too much? A recent study has suggested that intense workouts could be detrimental to mental health and memory. 

Researchers at Dartmouth University found that, while exercise can have a positive effect on mental health, not all forms and intensities of exercise will be equally effective.

They asked 113 Fitbit users to undertake a series of memory tests and answer questions about their mental health, as well as share exercise data from the previous year.

Understanding the Research

While the researchers expected that higher levels of activity would correlate to better mental health and memory performance, the results weren’t quite so simple.

In fact, those exercising at lower intensities did better on some memory tests, while those exercising at higher intensities did better on others. In terms of mental health, those exercising at higher intensities reported higher levels of stress , while those exercising at lower intensities reported lower levels of anxiety and depression.

Whereas previous research in this area has focused on exercise and memory over shorter timeframes, this research looked at the effects of exercise on memory over the longer term. The data the researchers focused on included daily step counts, average heart rates, and the time spent exercising in different ‘heart rate zones.’

Exercise and Memory

Researchers also saw connections between mental health and memory. Participants who reported anxiety or depression generally performed better on the spatial and associative memory tasks , the types of memory associated with locations, and the ability to remember connections between concepts or other memories respectively.

In comparison, participants who reported bipolar disorder performed better on the episodic memory tasks—this is the type of memory associated with autobiographical events, like what you did yesterday or last weekend. Participants who reported high-stress levels tended to do poorly on the associative memory tasks.

“When it comes to physical activity, memory, and mental health, there’s a really complicated dynamic at play that cannot be summarized in single sentences like ‘walking improves your memory’ or ‘stress hurts your memory,’” said lead author Jeremy Manning, an assistant professor of psychological and brain sciences at Dartmouth University, in a press release . “Instead, specific forms of physical activity and specific aspects of mental health seem to affect each aspect of memory differently.”

Smriti Joshi, lead psychologist at Wysa

You don’t have to push yourself or ‘feel the burn’ to get benefits from exercise, for either physical or mental wellbeing.

In comparison, participants who reported bipolar disorder performed better on the episodic memory tasks – this is the type of memory associated with autobiographical events, like what you did yesterday or last weekend. Participants who reported high stress levels tended to do poorer at the associative memory tasks.

“When it comes to physical activity, memory, and mental health, there’s a really complicated dynamic at play that cannot be summarized in single sentences like ‘walking improves your memory’ or ‘stress hurts your memory,’” said lead author Jeremy Manning, an assistant professor of psychological and brain sciences at Dartmouth University, in a press release .

“Instead, specific forms of physical activity and specific aspects of mental health seem to affect each aspect of memory differently,” says Manning.

Take These Findings With a Grain of Salt

Of course, exercise does bring a number of mental health benefits. Running reduces the risk of depression, for example.

As Elena Touroni, PhD, a consultant psychologist and co-founder of The Chelsea Psychology Clinic comments, “When you exercise, your body releases feel-good hormones, endorphins, and serotonin, which give you a natural energy boost and promote positive feelings in the body. Your body and mind also become better at managing the stress hormone, cortisol.”

She goes on to explain that people often find that exercise is a good release of pent-up energy, helping them break cyclical thoughts and give them a clear head, and that exercising can boost self-esteem too: “The increase in energy can help you feel stronger in yourself and more confident to take on any challenges in your life.” 

Can We Exercise Too Much?

“You don’t have to push yourself or ‘feel the burn’ to get benefits from exercise, for either physical or mental wellbeing,” says Smriti Joshi , lead psychologist at Wysa . 

She explains that there are all sorts of factors that may impact decisions on the type and amount of exercise we do, from our age to our general health. 

Daniela Beivide, PhD

While exposing ourselves to some physical stress during exercise is a good thing, prolonged high-intensity activity can actually keep our nervous system in a 'fight-or-flight' state.

“What is important is to try and be a little more physically active than you are now, and it could mean just doing stretches or going for walks with friends or loved ones regularly. You could choose to build on this and increase the duration or bring in more variety and make it fun,” she says.

“You don’t have to exercise rigorously every day to reap the benefits of exercise,” says Daniela Beivide, PhD , Director of Content, Research, and UX at Holly Health . “Even more accessible movements like walking or gardening cause improvements in mood. Some of the possible mechanisms of this relationship include reduced inflammation, better regulation of the stress response, and increased production of some neurotransmitters such as serotonin.” 

Taking exercising to excess can be harmful too— exercise addiction is a very real issue, and as Joshi explains it can lead to physical complications like injuries, fractures, and amenorrhea , the absence of menstruation. 

Personalized Exercise is Best

While the findings are interesting and pose various questions, there were limitations to the study. For example, the research doesn't answer whether different forms of exercise actively cause changes in memory and mental health, or whether people who partake in certain forms of exercise might have similar memory or mental health profiles.

For example, the fact that people who did higher intensity exercises reported higher levels of stress may indicate nothing more than people who are more stressed trying to release more energy through higher-intensity exercise. 

Manning went on to say that additional research could be beneficial: “For example, to help students prepare for an exam or reduce their depression symptoms, specific exercise regimens could be designed to help improve their cognitive performance and mental health.”

“The findings of the study show that everyone has unique needs, strengths, and challenges, and it’s worth taking a personalized approach to exercise,” says Joshi. “Whether that’s by working with a trained professional, or just listening to your body and doing more of what makes you feel physically and mentally stronger."

“It might not be that the actual quantity or intensity of the exercise isn’t right, but the ‘why’ behind it. If it’s to punish yourself for eating something, to keep up with that person you saw on Instagram, or because you’re addicted to it, those are negative signs.”

Beivide agrees, explaining that intense physical activity is a form of stress in itself. “While exposing ourselves to some physical stress during exercise is a good thing, prolonged high-intensity activity can actually keep our nervous system in a 'fight-or-flight' state, which is what happens when we are going through a stressful situation.”

She stresses the importance of a balance between physical challenges and resting, the latter calming our nervous system and helping us go back to “a state of ‘rest and digest,’ which helps calm the mind and improve cognitive function.”

What This Means For You

Exercise is good for us, but that doesn't mean we should always be pushing ourselves to the extreme. When it comes to mental wellness it's all about balance. Rest is important too, as is considering the type of exercise you're doing. Less intense forms of exercise can be just as effective—and as this study shows, might be more suitable for some people.

Manning JR, Notaro GM, Chen E, Fitzpatrick PC. Fitness tracking reveals task-specific associations between memory, mental health, and physical activity .  Sci Rep . 2022;12(1):13822. doi:10.1038/s41598-022-17781-0

Choi KW, Chen CY, Stein MB, et al. Assessment of bidirectional relationships between physical activity and depression among adults: A 2-sample mendelian randomization study .  JAMA Psychiatry . 2019;76(4):399-408. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2018.4175

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'The Anxious Generation' analyzes the harmful effects of growing up online

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While screens have become a totally normalized part of kids' development today, social psychologist Jonathan Haidt argues that the negative effects might outweigh the benefits. His new book, The Anxious Generation , details the correlation between an increasingly online social life and rising mental health concerns amongst young people. In today's episode, NPR's Steve Inskeep asks Haidt about how boys and girls experience socialization on the Internet, and how some of these behaviors might be curbed to get kids playing offline.

To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday

Author Interviews

The consequences of a smartphone-centered childhood.

Major psychology group says infinite scrolling, other social media features are ‘particularly risky’ to youth mental health

A top psychology group is urging technology companies and legislators to take greater steps to protect adolescents’ mental health, arguing that social media platforms are built for adults and are “not inherently suitable for youth.”

Social media features such as endless scrolling and push notifications are “particularly risky” to young people, whose developing brains are less able to disengage from addictive experiences and are more sensitive to distractions, the American Psychological Association wrote in a report released Tuesday .

But age restrictions on social media platforms alone don’t fully address the dangers, especially since many kids easily find workarounds to such limits. Instead, social media companies need to make fundamental design changes, the group said in its report.

“The platforms seem to be designed to keep kids engaged for as long as possible, to keep them on there. And kids are just not able to resist those impulses as effectively as adults,” APA chief science officer Mitch Prinstein said in a phone interview. He added that more than half of teens report at least one symptom of clinical dependency on social media . 

“The fact that this is interfering with their in-person interactions, their time when they should be doing schoolwork, and — most importantly — their sleep has really important implications,” Prinstein said.

The report did not offer specific changes that social media companies can implement. Prinstein suggested one option could be to change the default experience of social media accounts for children, with functions such as endless scrolling or alerts shut off.

The report comes nearly a year after the APA issued a landmark health advisory on social media use in adolescence, which acknowledged that social media can be beneficial when it connects young people with peers who experience similar types of adversity offline. The advisory urged social media platforms to minimize adolescents’ online exposure to cyberbullying and cyberhate, among other recommendations.

But technology companies have made “few meaningful changes” since the advisory was released last May, the APA report said, and no federal policies have been adopted.

The report did not name any specific social media platforms. But a spokesperson for Meta, the parent company of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, disputed the assertion that there have not been changes instituted on its platforms recently. In the last year, Meta has begun showing teens a notification when they spend 20 minutes on Facebook and has added parental supervision tools that allow parents to schedule breaks from Facebook for their teens, according to a list of Meta resources for parents and teenagers . Meta also began hiding more results in Instagram’s search tool related to suicide, self-harm and eating disorders, and launched nighttime “nudges” that encourage teens to close the app when it’s late.

Prinstein said more is still needed.

"Although some platforms have experimented with modest changes, it is not enough to ensure children are safe," he said.

TikTok and X, formerly known as Twitter, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. A spokesperson for Snap Inc., which owns messaging app Snapchat, said it appreciated the APA’s recommendations and shares "their concerns about many of the key features of traditional social media."

"Snapchat was intentionally designed differently than other platforms and most people use it to communicate with their close friends and family," the spokesperson said in a statement, "That’s why Snapchat doesn’t offer public comparison metrics when you talk with your friends and our content platform is moderated, which means we don’t allow unvetted content to reach lots of people."

Tuesday’s report comes amid broader concern over the effects of social media on young people. In March, Florida passed a law prohibiting children younger than 14 from having social media accounts and requiring parental consent for those ages 14 and 15. California lawmakers have introduced a bill to protect minors from social media addiction . Dozens of states have sued Meta for what they say are deceptive features that harm children’s and teens’ mental health. 

And last month, a book was published by social psychologist Jonathan Haidt that argues that smartphones and social media have created a “phone-based childhood,” sending adolescents’ rates of anxiety, depression and self-harm skyrocketing. 

The book, “The Anxious Generation: How the Great Rewiring of Childhood Is Causing an Epidemic of Mental Illness,” has been hotly debated. While it has its detractors , it instantly became a bestseller.

Prinstein said that it’s up to technology companies to protect their youngest users, but parents can also help. He recommended all devices in a family’s household go on top of the refrigerator at 9 p.m. each night to help kids — and parents — get the amount of sleep they need. He also said there is no harm in limiting or postponing a child’s use of social media.

“We have no data to suggest that kids suffer negative consequences if they delay social media use, or if their parents set it for half an hour a day, or an hour a day,” he said. 

“If anything, kids tell us, anecdotally, that they like to be able to blame it on their parents and say, ‘Sorry, my parents won’t let me stay on for more than an hour, so I have to get off,’” he added. “It kind of gives them a relief.”

homework negative effect on mental health

Elizabeth Chuck is a reporter for NBC News who focuses on health and mental health, particularly issues that affect women and children.

IMAGES

  1. The Mental Health Impact of Excessive Homework on Students

    homework negative effect on mental health

  2. Are You Aware of These Pitfalls of Homework?

    homework negative effect on mental health

  3. 31% of Employees Feel That Working From Home Has a Significant Impact

    homework negative effect on mental health

  4. ⚡ Effects of too much homework. How Does Excessive Homework Affect

    homework negative effect on mental health

  5. How the pandemic has impacted teen mental health

    homework negative effect on mental health

  6. How Does Homework Affect Your Mental Health?

    homework negative effect on mental health

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  2. Mental Health: Removing Baggage

  3. Avoid Common Cognitive Biases in Life #motivation

  4. Why People Aren't Working Anymore @TheIcedCoffeeHour

  5. What is Trauma & How Might it Effect Mental Health #mentalhealth #faith #trauma #jesus

  6. Challenge Beliefs, Avoid Cognitive Biases

COMMENTS

  1. Is it time to get rid of homework? Mental health experts weigh in

    Emmy Kang, mental health counselor at Humantold, says studies have shown heavy workloads can be "detrimental" for students and cause a "big impact on their mental, physical and emotional health ...

  2. Is homework a necessary evil?

    Beyond that point, kids don't absorb much useful information, Cooper says. In fact, too much homework can do more harm than good. Researchers have cited drawbacks, including boredom and burnout toward academic material, less time for family and extracurricular activities, lack of sleep and increased stress.

  3. Health Hazards of Homework

    Health Hazards of Homework. Pediatrics. A new study by the Stanford Graduate School of Education and colleagues found that students in high-performing schools who did excessive hours of homework "experienced greater behavioral engagement in school but also more academic stress, physical health problems, and lack of balance in their lives.".

  4. Stanford research shows pitfalls of homework

    Education scholar Denise Pope has found that too much homework has negative effects on student well-being and behavioral engagement. (Image credit: L.A. Cicero)

  5. When Is Homework Stressful? Its Effects on Students' Mental Health

    Lack of sleep. One of the most prevalent adverse effects of schoolwork is lack of sleep. The average student only gets about 5 hours of sleep per night since they stay up late to complete their homework, even though the body needs at least 7 hours of sleep every day. Lack of sleep has an impact on both mental and physical health.

  6. Barriers Associated with the Implementation of Homework in Youth Mental

    Introduction. Homework, or between-session practice of skills learned during therapy, is one of the most integral, yet underutilized components of high-quality, evidence-based mental health care (Kazantzis & Deane, 1999).Homework activities (e.g., self-monitoring, relaxation, exposure, parent behavior management) are assigned by providers in-session and completed by patients between sessions ...

  7. PDF Does Homework Work or Hurt? A Study on the Effects of Homework on

    A Study on the Effects of . Homework on Mental Health and Academic Performance . Ryan Scheb . Cristo Rey Brooklyn High School Follow this and additional works at: https://digitalcommons.lmu.edu/ce ... over schoolwork" (Galloway et al., 2013, p. 498), which led to other negative consequences like lost sleep, less time with family and friends ...

  8. Infographic: How Does Homework Actually Affect Students?

    The Negative Effects on Students. Homework can affect students' health, social life and grades. The hours logged in class, and the hours logged on schoolwork can lead to students feeling overwhelmed and unmotivated. ... Homework can affect both students' physical and mental health. According to a study by Stanford University, 56 per cent of ...

  9. Workload and Mental Well-Being of Homeworkers

    Hence, the negative indirect effects of workload on mental well-being are higher than the positive direct effect of these two variables; as a result, the total effect of the relationship between workload and mental well-being, calculated as the sum of direct and indirect effects, is therefore negative (β = −0.12; P < 0.001; CI, −0.14 to ...

  10. How Does Homework Affect Students Mental Health

    Negative Perception of Learning: When homework becomes too demanding, it may lead students to associate learning with stress and pressure. This negative perception can affect their overall attitude towards education, potentially diminishing their interest in learning and harming their mental well-being.

  11. (PDF) Investigating the Effects of Homework on Student Learning and

    Homework has long been a topic of social research, but rela-tively few studies have focused on the teacher's role in the homework process. Most research examines what students do, and whether and ...

  12. Is it time to get rid of homework? Mental health experts weigh in

    Emmy Kang, mental health counselor at Humantold , says studies have shown heavy workloads can be "detrimental" for students and cause a "big impact on their mental, physical and emotional health ...

  13. Is Homework Necessary? Education Inequity and Its Impact on Students

    Negative Effects of Homework for Students. While some amount of homework may help students connect to their learning and enhance their in-class performance, too much homework can have damaging effects. Students with too much homework have elevated stress levels. Students regularly report that homework is their primary source of stress.

  14. Addressing Student Mental Health Through the Lens of Homework Stress

    When addressing a mental health crisis like the one facing our current generation of students, homework and its associated academic stress is a high stakes psychosocial domino; a stressor. that when not properly addressed, may lead to flagging motivation, negative health outcomes due.

  15. Homework can be bad for your mental health. Should we get rid of it?

    Chinese schoolgirl uses robot to do her homework. Emmy Kang, mental health counselor at Humantold, says studies have shown heavy workloads can be "detrimental" for students and cause a "big ...

  16. Does Homework Cause Stress? Exploring the Impact on Students' Mental Health

    1. Potential Psychological Effects of Homework-Induced Stress: • Anxiety: The pressure to perform academically and meet homework expectations can lead to heightened levels of anxiety in students. Constant worry about completing assignments on time and achieving high grades can be overwhelming. • Sleep Disturbances: Homework-related stress ...

  17. How Does Homework Affect Students' Mental Health?

    Lack of sleep is one of the most common negative effects of schoolwork. As a result of staying up late to finish their homework, students on average only get about 5 hours of sleep each night, despite the fact that humans require at least 7 hours of sleep each day. Both physical and mental health are impacted by sleep deprivation.

  18. The Impact of Homework on Student Mental Health

    Conclusion. In conclusion, it is clear that the amount of homework assigned to students can have a significant impact on their mental health. Too much homework can lead to increased stress levels, anxiety, depression, and decreased self-esteem. It is therefore important to ensure that students are not overloaded with homework and are given the ...

  19. The Mental Health Impact of Excessive Homework on Students

    Examining the Mental Health Impacts of Excessive Homework. It is no surprise that too much homework can lead to stress and anxiety. Studies have shown that when students are given too much homework, they are more likely to experience symptoms of depression, including feeling overwhelmed, unmotivated, and isolated.

  20. How Homework Is Destroying Teens' Health

    The mental effects of homework can be harmful as well. Mental health issues are often ignored, even when schools can be the root of the problem. An article from USA Today contained a quote from a licensed therapist and social worker named Cynthia Catchings, which reads, " heavy workloads can also cause serious mental health problems in the ...

  21. Are smartphones harmful to youth mental health? Experts torn on

    Roy Rochlin / Getty Images for Unfinished Live. A new book has embroiled the academic community in a heated debate over whether spending time on smartphones affects young people's mental health ...

  22. Too Much Exercise May Have Negative Effect on Mental Health

    A recent study has suggested that intense workouts could be detrimental to mental health and memory. Researchers at Dartmouth University found that, while exercise can have a positive effect on mental health, not all forms and intensities of exercise will be equally effective. They asked 113 Fitbit users to undertake a series of memory tests ...

  23. 'The Anxious Generation' analyzes the harmful effects of growing ...

    His new book, The Anxious Generation, details the correlation between an increasingly online social life and rising mental health concerns amongst young people. In today's episode, NPR's Steve ...

  24. 5 Foods That Can Have A Negative Impact On Your Mental Health

    Candy (And Sugary Foods In General) Jason Phillips , a licensed clinical social worker, said he does his best to steer clear of candy. "I will not eat candy like Tootsie Rolls or candy corn ...

  25. Short- and Long-Term Effects of Heroin Use

    People who use heroin commonly report feeling a pleasurable rush and a reduction in pain, but may also experience more adverse side effects soon after use, including.3,9. Drowsiness. Decreased mental functioning. Alternating states of being awake and asleep (nodding off). Limbs that feel heavy or weighted down.

  26. Psychology group says infinite scrolling and other social media

    A top psychology group is urging technology companies and legislators to take greater steps to protect adolescents' mental health, arguing that social media platforms are built for adults and ...