Stress has become a common symptom linked to several illnesses including cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, asthma, and rheumatoid arthritis. Recent research has drawn evidence to show parents who experience stress are often or always tend to be overweight and also have overweight or obese children contributing to the global burden of disease. The majority of stress research focuses on public school children and their parents due to easy access to the population. Less is known about the highly understudied homeschool population and the unique parent and teacher relationship. The purpose of this study was to determine if the stress levels of homeschooling parents have an effect on the mental and physical health of their children. Homeschool children (n=20) and their parents (n=13) completed the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS-10) to determine self-reported stress levels. The child participants also completed fitness testing to determine physical health. It was found that overall stress levels of homeschooling families are relatively low when compared to national averages. It was also determined that a positive relationship was found between the parents and their children’s stress levels. No relationships were found between physical fitness levels and stress levels in either sample. The unique structure of the homeschool environment might contribute to lower levels of stress in both parents and children.
|Keywords:||Stress, Family Health, Homeschooling|
Graduate Assistant, Department of Kinesiology, Health, and Sport Science, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Indiana, Pennsylvania, USA
Assistant Professor, Department of Kinesiology, Health, and Sport Science, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Indiana, Pennsylvania, USA