Children whose parents have a degree suffer more stress when they start university because they fear letting their family down
Researchers studied levels of stress hormone in hair of the starting courses
Children from academic domiciles exhibit more stress when they start their degree
Body releases a hormone when stressed called cortisol which is stored in ‘growing hair’
Children whose parents have a degree suffer more stress when they start university, a new study shows.
Researchers studied levels of stress hormone cortisol in the hair of women starting their degree courses.
Around 80 per cent of individuals in degree report feeling anxious or stressed, as the number of students dropping out of university due to mental health problems is increasing.
The researchers found first-year students from ‘academic backgrounds’, where one or more parent had a university degree, had higher stress levels.
The researchers found first-year students from ‘academic backgrounds’, where at least one parent had a university degree, had higher stress levels
The team believes this is because a deep failing their studies would result in a loss in status for them and their families.
Author Dr Nina Minkley at the University of Bochum in Germany said: ‘Starting university is an exciting phase for all.
‘However, kids from academic households exhibit significantly more stress during this time period than those from non-academic families.’
A stressed person’s human body releases a hormone called cortisol, that is stored in ‘growing hair’, where it may build up with time if stress levels remain high.
The research team recruited over 70 students from different family backgrounds and asked them for three strands of hair, stop near the scalp.
As human hair grows at around one centimetre every month, the researchers focused only on the last one and a half centimetres, which had grown before six weeks, when the definition of began.
Students were then asked to complete a questionnaire about their parents’ amount of education and how stressed they were feeling.
The research team recruited over 70 students from different family backgrounds and asked them for three strands of hair, stop near the scalp
Dr Minkley said: ‘The only inclusion criteria were that they started their first semester and that they had sufficiently long hair.
‘In the end, this meant that people recruited nearly only women, and we decided not to range from the few eligible men in order to avoid falsifying the outcomes.’
These findings have been in line with other sociological studies which have shown students with academic parents often attend university even when they have not done well in school.
Dr Minkley said: ‘Children of non-academics, alternatively, can only win and are therefore probably less stressed.’
Over 500,000 individuals are accepted to university in the united kingdom every year, not quite half of whom are 18 years old.
The findings could help universities alleviate stress among first-year students and parents who want to reassure their children.
The findings were published in the journal Frontiers of Psychiatry.