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Social Causes of School Anxiety

School Anxiety Can Have Several Social Causes


Updated April 29, 2014

Social Causes of School Anxiety

School anxiety is common, but can be managed.

Photo from iStockPhoto.com
It's common for kids of all ages to experience school anxiety school-related stress. This is often most apparent at the end of summer when school is about to start again, but it can occur year-round. Where does the stress and anxiety come from? Social, academic and scheduling factors play a major role, as do hidden environmental stressors. This article explains school anxiety and stress in greater detail.

Social Stressors

Many kids experience some level of stress or anxiety in social situations they encounter in school. While some of these issues provide important opportunities for growth, they must be handled with care and can cause anxiety that must be dealt with.


A good experience with a caring teacher can cause a lasting impression on a child's life -- so can a bad experience. While most teachers do their best to provide students with a positive educational experience, some students are better suited for certain teaching styles and classroom types than others. If there's a mismatch between student and teacher, a child can form lasting negative feelings about school or his own abilities.


While most students would say that friends are one of their favorite aspects of school, they can also be a source of stress. Concerns about not having enough friends, not being in the same class as friends, not being able to keep up with friends in one particular area or another, interpersonal conflicts, and peer pressure are a few of the very common ways kids can be stressed by their social lives at school. Dealing with these issues alone can cause anxiety in even the most secure kids.


Things have changed in the world of bullies since I was a kid. The good news is that the days of teachers looking the other way and parents leaving kids to deal with bullying on their own are mostly over. Many schools now have anti-bullying programs and policies. Though bullying does still happen at many schools, even those with these policies, help is generally more easily accessible than it was years ago.

The bad news is that bullying has gone high-tech. Many students use the Internet, cell phones and other media devices to bully other students, and this type of bullying often gets very aggressive. One reason is that bullies can be anonymous and enlist other bullies to make their target miserable; another reason is that they don't have to face their targets, so it's easier to shed any empathy that they may otherwise feel. There are ways to combat ‘cyber-bullying’, but many parents aren't aware of them -- and many bullied kids feel too overwhelmed to deal with the situation.

School Anxiety Factors:
Social Causes
Scheduling Stresses
Academic Factors
Your Child's Environment

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