Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine the prevalence of academic stress and exam anxiety among private secondary school students in India as well as the associations with socio-economic and study-related factors. Design/methodology/approach – Participants were 400 adolescent students (52 percent male) from five private secondary schools in Kolkata who were studying in grades 10 and 12. Participants were selected using a multi-stage sampling technique and were assessed using a study-specific questionnaire. Findings – Findings revealed that 35 and 37 percent reported high or very high levels of academic stress and exam anxiety respectively. All students reported high levels of academic stress, but those who had lower grades reported higher levels of stress than those with higher grades. Students who engaged in extra-curricula activities were more likely to report exam anxiety than those who did not engage in extra-curricula activities. Practical implications – Private high school students in India report high levels of academic stress and exam anxiety. As such there is a need to develop effective interventions to help these students better manage their stress and anxiety. Originality/value – This is the first study the authors are aware of that explores the academic stress levels of private secondary school students in India. The study identifies factors that may be associated with the experience of high levels of stress that need to be explored further in future research.
Asian Education and Development Studies – Emerald Publishing
Published: May 6, 2014