Research on the effects of pressure to achieve upon highly capable teens is relatively recent, but it’s starting to pick up some momentum. Many of these students are the future leaders of the world, and we need to understand what struggles they may have while preparing themselves for those roles. Below are links to some of the more important research done so far.
First, here’s a nice 2019 article in the Washington Post that introduces the subject: https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/2019/09/26/students-high-achieving-schools-are-now-named-an-at-risk-group/
Suniya Luthar, mentioned in the Post article above, is one of the pioneers of research in this realm, focusing much of her work on what she calls high-achieving high schools. Here’s a link to one of her studies, which includes at the end an excellent list of many other related studies by her and others: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/323203234_Youth_in_High-Achieving_Schools_Challenges_to_Mental_Health_and_Directions_for_Evidence-Based_Interventions
Denise Clark Pope at Stanford is another important pioneer in research on students in high-pressure high schools. This link is to an article in The Phi Delta Kappan that serves as a nice introduction to the work she’s doing: https://kappanonline.org/easing-stress-pressure-cooker-schools-villeneuve-conner-selby-pope/
As mentioned in the presentation, a 2015 study by Noelle Leonard and others at NYU provides important insight into the effects of stress on students at high-achieving high schools. Here again is the link: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01028/full
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) regularly gathers data on risky behavior by teens, and it’s a great resource for both current information and trends over recent years. Here is the link: https://www.cdc.gov/features/yrbs/index.html
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration does an annual National Survey on Drug Use and Health that gives an incredibly detailed look at substance abuse and mental health issues in adolescents. Here’s the most recent: http://www.samhsa.gov/data/report/2018-nsduh-annual-national-report
The American Psychological Association did an interesting assessment of stress in both adults and teens, then compared the two groups: https://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/stress/2013/stress-report.pdf