May 19, 2009

1 in 5 Finnish high-schoolers burned out

One in 5 girls in high school in Finland suffers from school burnout, which can lead to depression, researchers said.

These girls are high achievers but they also develop burnout. They tend to develop feelings of inadequacy, in particular, in senior high school, study leader Katariina Salmela-Aro of the University of Jyvaskyla said in a statement.

In contrast, boys who enter upper secondary school tend to develop more of a cynical, negative stance towards school.

The study involving 1,800 students was carried out at the Academy of Finland's Center of Excellence in Learning and Motivation Research.

School burnout in senior high school tends to complicate the transition to further studies, while an enthusiasm for school tends to predict a successful transition to the next education level, Salmela-Aro said.

Burnout from school is a chronic school-related stress syndrome which manifests as exhaustion, cynicism about school and feelings of inadequacy, the study said.