It doesn’t matter whether students are from an affluent family on the Upper East Side or a disadvantaged family in the South Bronx: In today’s school environment, they are under a tremendous amount of stress, according to a Fordham education professor.
“There’s a lot of suffering out there; addiction, eating disorders, a sense of boredom and that something is missing,” said Amelio A. D’Onofrio, Ph.D. “And with that comes a profound sense of loneliness, a disconnection, anger, and rage.”
D’Onofrio, clinical professor and director of the Psychological Services Institute in the Graduate School of Education, presented hard numbers from a recent study from the Center for Disease Control of high-school-age students representing a cross section of race and class: 30 percent said that they feel sad or hopeless, 18 percent seriously considered suicide, 14 percent made a plan to kill themselves, and 10 percent attempted suicide.
D’Onofrio shared his remarks with a group of school superintendents from the tri-state region, who gathered at Fordham’s Westchester campus. The March 2 talk, “How the Pressures of Contemporary Life Can Lead to Disconnection, Despair, and Violence,” was chance for GSE faculty members to share research and gather front-line feedback from area educators.