Mental Health

Children's Mental Health Affected by Classroom Environment

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As adults, we are well aware that our work environment has an effect on our mental health. When we're trying to do our jobs without the resources we need, or with coworkers who feel disrespected, we feel anxious, stressed, and may have trouble with interpersonal relationships and concentration. It's no wonder, then, that a recent study shows children have the same types of problems when their school classroom has inadequate resources and teachers who feel they don't have the respect of their colleagues.

According to study lead Melissa A. Milkie, a sociology professor at the University of Maryland, "Our research shows that the classroom environment really matters when it comes to children's mental health." Milkie points out that school quality is often measured by test scores and other academic outcomes, but thinks that mental health should also be on our radar.

Milkie says, "I think parents care a lot about their children's mental health—their emotional and behavioral well being—but we as a society don't tend to focus on that as an important educational outcome nearly as much as we talk about and think about academic outcomes."

Milkie’s study is an interesting one, that should remind us that children are susceptible to stress just as we are, and that they can affected by many of the same types of stressors--including the mental health can of the adults around them. Read more about the study at