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Can Homework Lead to Depression?

Homework is an after-school task that nobody bargained or asked for. It is simply that extra work that every student has to put in over a specific period every day after school. Kids in first grade are known to spend at least 10 minutes on their homework every day; those in high school (particularly the seniors) spend at least two hours on their homework every night. This is not conclusive; the amount of time spent could be higher or lesser, depending on the school, teacher, and the students’ abilities.

According to Sierra’s Homework Policy recommendation, students shouldn’t get more than ten minutes of homework every night and a maximum of fifty minutes of homework per term. While this recommendation is not binding or absolute, it mostly serves as a conceptual guide for teachers and tutors alike. Spending this amount of time on homework every night after a hectic day at school is not in any way fun for students, no matter the age or class. No student enjoys doing homework, especially when it has become a daily routine, and now that t homework score is calculated as part of their cumulative score for the term.

Whether homework can lead to or cause depression is an age-long question, and this article aims to explain the ‘if’ and ‘how’ too much homework can cause depression.

Studies have shown that the more time spent on homework means that students are not meeting their developmental needs or imbibing other critical life skills. While focusing on their homework, students are likely to forgo other activities such as participating in hobbies, seeing friends and family, and having meaningful and heart-to-heart conversations with people. Homework steals all the attention and spare time. Eventually, it puts students on the path of social reclusiveness, which would sooner or later tell on their mental and emotional balance.

Also, when a group of Harvard Health researchers asked students whether they experience any physical symptoms of stress like exhaustion, sleep deprivation, headache, weight loss, and stomach ache, over two-thirds of the participating students claim that they cope with anxiety thanks to their use of drugs, alcohol, and marijuana.

A Stanford University study showed that homework affects students’ physical and mental health because at least 56% of students attribute homework to be their primary source of stress. According to the study, too much homework is also a leading cause of weight loss, headache, sleep deprivation, and poor eating habits.

As beneficial as homework is to the students’ academic development, the fact remains that an additional two hours spent on homework after spending around 8 hours in school is too much and could lead to a massive mental breakdown.

Even though research has shown that homework can lead to depression, that doesn’t take away the fact that assignment is the only way to ensure and ascertain that students fully understood what they have learned in class; however, the question remains, is two hours on homework every night not too much?