Seriousness of Academic expectation stress and perceptions of parental Pressures among Junior College Students- a Dialogue
By Dr.Deepthi Balla
(B.Sc., M.Ed., M.A (Psy)., Ph.D)
Guest Faculty, Psychology
Visakha Govt. Degree College for Women
Lot of studies showed that academic stress has negative effects on children. “Academic stress was positively correlated with parental pressure and with psychiatric problems. “ It is so predominantly observed in nearly two thirds of senior high school students (Sibnath Deb, Esben Strodl, Jiandong Sun, 2015) Parental aspirations showed little significance to academic anxiety (Dr.Richa Mehta , 2016).
But in reality more than academic stress, students’ perceptions of academic stress is important. This is known among scholars as “academic expectation stress”. An inventory named Academic Expectation Stress Inventory (AESI) was specially made to measure this in 2006 by Ang RP and Huan V.S, who assessed this in two factors namely –self-standards and others (parents and teachers) (Ang, R. P., & Huan, V. S. , 2006). Though it is not mentioned as academic expectation stress, one study showed that nearly 86 % of high school students (i.e., among 954) felt pressure from parents and 57 percentage of students expressed that this is effecting their academic performance (Dr. Zeetha M Sangma , Dr. Shantibala K ,Prof. Brogen Singh Akoijam , Dr. Annie B Maisnam , Dr. Vizovonuo Visi, Dr.Vanlalduhsaki, 2018).In particular, academic expectation stress from teachers/parents effects on stress from self-standards leading to psychological problems (Chellamuthu, Subramani & J, Venkatachalam, 2017).
Academic Expectation Stress is playing an important role in depression and suicide ideation. Depression is the partial mediator between academic expectation stress and suicide ideation (Ang, Rebecca & Huan, Vivien, 2006). This partial relationship indicates that there is some other factor which is still undiscovered that plays a major role in converting the academic expectation stress into suicide ideation as all depressed do not have suicide ideation.
This link was found in my research on Junior college students (+2 education 1014 students), who were contacted and given Beck depression Inventory-II, academic expectation stress inventories to fill and the data was analyzed.
There were two groups based on medium of Instruction. One is English Medium (797) and the other is Telugu Medium (207).
- It was noted that Telugu Medium Students have feelings of inferiority as their mode of education is not in English. Some students who pursued Telugu Medium Schools till 10th class joined Intermediate (Junior) College for English Medium course. But these had expressed worries about sudden change from Telugu to English, which would affect their academic performance.
- For English Medium students most concern is to get more marks to appease their parents and teachers.
It revealed that nearly 63.50 of the depressed are experiencing Academic expectation stress whereas 36.50 percent who were experiencing academic expectation stress from normal category.
- It was noted that students feel academic expectation stress of others more than those who are depressed. Those whose depression level is moderate to severe experience academic expectation stress of self-standards more than the others’ scale. Especially the following were found to have significant relationship with depression. From others scale the items that correlated (0.01 level of significance ) with depression were: “ I feel I have disappointed my parents when I do poorly in school”, and “I feel stressed when I know my parents are disappointed in my exam grades.” From self-standards scale the items that correlated (0.01 level of significance ) with depression were : “When I fail to live up to my own expectations, I feel I am not good enough” and “I usually cannot sleep and worry when I cannot meet the goals I set for myself.”( V.Harilakshmi and Deepthi Balla, 2014)
Moreover there is another factor that is so important in academic expectation stress, which AESI do not pinpoint, and that is “the reason” that the students feel as the “motive behind joining the course” do have strong association with depression and suicide ideation in these Intermediate college students.
So it was noted that statistically two items were significantly correlating with depression and suicide ideation. Those whose expectations were related to “To get a secured job quickly” have significant association with depression mean scores (0.01 level ). It was noted that these preferred teaching and banking jobs as their career options. Those who expressed that their expectations were related to “For my parents sake” have significant suicide ideations (0.01 level) ( Prof.V.Harilakshmi and Deepthi Balla, 2014; Dr. Deepthi Balla, 2019).
Practical Interventions :
The following, if can be incorporated by the authorities, parents and college management could solve the above mentioned problems.
- Mode of teaching learning and the evaluation of students leaning must change
- Provision of Creative expression for the students in exams and scoring manual to for the expressions to the teachers
- Fear of writing and speaking in English should be desensitized
- use of strategies like using Vocabulary Games,
- Inclusion of marks of creative expression of students in the final evaluating process
- Target the academic expectations of both parents and students
The following figure explains that present scenario of pressures on student are downward. With the help of counsellors who could guide both the parents and child in choosing the right career that suits one’s strengths could put a stop to this problem. If majority of the parents in our Indian society prefer their children to do a course that is in accordance to their strength then a new trend will be created in India which will not only help Indian families nourishment but will enhance the strength of India in World.
Conclusion : Higher education Authority of India needs to change Indian Education system by incorporating character strength based screening and provision to the students to freely of express of the learnt content in the evaluative processes.
Ang, R. P., & Huan, V. S. (2006). Academic Expectations Stress Inventory: Development, Factor Analysis, Reliability, and Validity. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 66(3), 522–539. https://doi.org/10.1177/0013164405282461
Ang, Rebecca & Huan, Vivien. (2006). Relationship between Academic Stress and Suicidal Ideation: Testing for Depression as a Mediator Using Multiple Regression. Child psychiatry and human development. 37. 133-43. 10.1007/s10578-006-0023-8.
Chellamuthu, Subramani & J, Venkatachalam. (2017). Academic Expectations Stress Among High School Students. Indian Journal of Psychology and Education. Artilces Vol 7( ). pp 77-817. 77. Retrieved from https://www.academia.edu/35314290/Academic_Expectations_Stress_Among_High_School_Students
Dr. Deepthi Balla (2019). Psychological and social focus on Preventing suicide in India. PARIPEX – Indian Journal Of Research. Volume-8 | Issue-1 | January-2019 | ISSN – 2250-1991.DOI:10.15373/22501991
Dr. Zeetha M Sangma, Dr. Shantibala K , Prof. Brogen Singh Akoijam , Dr. Annie B Maisnam, Dr. Vizovonuo Visi , Dr.Vanlalduhsaki (2018). Perception of Students on Parental And Teachers’ Pressure on Their Academic Performance. IOSR Journal of Dental and Medical Sciences (IOSR-JDMS). Volume 17, Issue 01 Ver. I, PP 68-75. DOI: 10.9790/0853-1701016875.
Dr.Richa Mehta (2016). RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN PARENTAL ASPIRATION AND ACADEMIC ANXIETY IN ADOLESCENCE. International Research Journal Commerce, Arts, Science and Humanities. Vol. 7(2). Pp 27-37. Retrieved from https://www.academia.edu/23512313/RELATIONSHIP_BETWEEN_PARENTAL_ASPIRATION_AND_ACADEMIC_ANXIETY_IN_ADOLESCENCE
Prof.V.Harilakshmi and Deepthi Balla (2014). Reasons for depression (RFD) among intermediate college students of Visakhapatnam. Indian Journal of Health & Well being. April 2014. Vol.5(4):533-538. (p-ISSN: 2229-5356; e-ISSN: 2321-3698)
Sibnath Deb, Esben Strodl, Jiandong Sun (2015). Academic Stress, Parental Pressure, Anxiety and Mental Health among Indian High School Students. International Journal of Psychology and Behavioral Sciences. Vol. 5(1): 26-34. doi:10.5923/j.ijpbs.20150501.04