Dealing With A Student's Request: Does Homework Cause Stress

Homework can cause stress if not attended to at a proper time frame, or if there is too much assigned work for the student to handle. A study completed by the Stanford Graduate School of Education states that more than three hours of homework per night leads to diminishing returns in physical and mental health – the negative physical impact far outweighs the mental benefits of study.

Common Stressors from Homework

  • Too much homework
  • Procrastination

If a student leaves an assignment until late - or is given too much homework - the student will certainly feel stress. Students who are assigned too much homework will naturally begin to feel fatigued, and get quickly overwhelmed; Procrastination is also common, those applying this behavior will feel the effects of stress until the beginning of, and during homework engagement; leaving homework until the last minute is a sure way of causing stress.

Does Homework Equal Stress?

Inherently, homework does not cause stress - no activity is objectively stressful, and homework does not need to be. Any activity can be found to be stressful, however, and what causes stress is a combination of genetic and environmental factors – some people are more predisposed to feeling stress than others. Everyone deals with stress differently, and each person must learn to cope and navigate effectively through their emotions to reach their desired result.

Types of Stress

Subjectively, everyone deals with stress each day in one form or another, unless they manage to limit their external and internal experience to a mere blank slate. There are, however, good and bad forms of stress:

  • Short term
  • Long term

Stress is intended to be a short term fight-or-flight response; it is the body's way of bringing about motivation. But, too much stress, which stays with the person for periods of weeks, months, or even years – long term – can cause health problems and affect the immune and cardiovascular system. It is up to the student to learn to deal with stress, as homework will indeed inevitably lead to it.

Dealing With Stress

One must develop coping skills to deal with stress, such as:

  • Meditation
  • Exercise
  • Socialization

Meditation offers an excellent form of relaxation and therapy, which reduces cortisol - the main factor for stress caused biochemically in the brain; exercise increases serotonin, which improves mood, increasing motivation and reducing irritability. No on can live alone without experiencing mental health issues some time down the road, socialization will, like meditation, relax, and most importantly: offer a new outlet for thoughts to expunge or ruminate if necessary.


Managing one's time is critical, both to complete the homework when it should be done – and to ensure healthy, restful sleep; this will be helpful in keeping a student from feeling overwhelmed and from getting off-task.