Chronic Stress

Chronic stress makes it increasingly difficult for students to be academically successful. Students who live in urban areas are often faced with multiple barriers to educational success, and are at increased risk for poor brain development and not completing high school. Students impacted by chronic stress may be impulsive, distracted, distrustful and/or hyperactive. More than half of all absences are linked to chronic stress. 

School-based health centers and school partners must take into account the multitude of daily stressors impacting youth in urban settings, as well as their resultant coping mechanisms, and work together to address these stressors in order to make meaningful strides in reducing high school dropout.

Students experiencing chronic stress are likely to have high levels of cortisol, the body's primary stress-inducing hormone. This puts stressed students in a constant "fight-or-flight" state, making the attention and focus necessary for academic success difficult.

cartoon of students struggling in school hallway