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September 20, 2019 Friday 09:48:12 AM IST

Middle school stress-busters

Parent Interventions

A new study by education researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison shows that proactively addressing students' anxieties with clear and cost-effective messaging early in the school year can lead to a lasting record of higher grades, better attendance, and fewer behavioural problems for sixth graders embarking on their stressful first year of middle school.

Published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the journal of the National Academy of Sciences, the study traces the benefits to a difference-making change in attitude and positive well-being reported by students after two brief, reassuring classroom activities, known as interventions.

Seasoned with peer success stories and designed to boost students' sense of belonging, the interventions, in the form of reading and writing exercises, are targeted to ease sixth graders' fears about ‘fitting in’ at their new schools with a message that the angst they're feeling is ‘both temporary and normal’, the paper says, and that help is available from school staff. 



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