IB Extended Essay Examples: What Factors Cause Stress and Impact a Psychological Well-Being of Students?

Posted on February 20, 2022

The International Baccalaureate Program includes an extended essay that should have up to 4000 words. It is a pre-dissertation stage that includes deep research. A college usually has an agreed structure that includes a question, an introduction part, the used methodology, the body, and a summarizing part. Below, you will find one of the many extended essay samples. It is a brief 900-word sample in Psychology that has a part of the described structure.

The 900-word Example: What Factors Cause Stress and Impact a Psychological Well-Being of Students?

boy with thoughts
7.4% of children aged between 2 and 17 have behavioral problems, 3.2 of same-aged children have depression, and 7.1% of 3-17-year-old adolescents have anxiety disorders, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Parents wonder why their children suffer and what consequences for their future could be. The latest research shows that the main reason for such problems is stress. Stress is the response to the desire to fit the society and take the leading position. It hurts a vulnerable child’s mental state and affects a child’s ability for self-realization. Nevertheless, different nations perceive stressful situations differently. The essay focuses on students that live in Northern Europe and China to highlight different cultures that influence a child’s self-perception and self-realization in the future. A student’s psychological well-being depends on both cultural and psychological factors that will be explained below.

When children are three, they start separating themselves from their parents, trying to become more independent. If parents fail to help them adapt, children get their first psychological trauma. Kindergartens, schools, and colleges develop human fears. Over time, children start having sleeping problems, bipolar and behavioral disorders, suicidal thoughts, panic attacks, and depression.

Siddique and D’Arcy identify adolescence as a crucial time for most changes. The organism alters, and a person should mentally adapt to the demands of the body and the living environment. Education is an integral part of a person’s self-realization. School belongs to the major source of stress. Students have to take care of their appearance, follow academic rules, participate in after-class activities, and manage homework. Learning progress is a prior factor that leads to stressful situations. The school curriculum includes many subjects that are credited and make up a learner’s rating. One must cope with Math, History, Physics, English, Chemistry, Geography, Economics, and other disciplines to guarantee the desired GPA. The responsibility creates a big pressure on a vulnerable adolescent. The most common reason for a student’s failure is poor time management. William Knause, a psychologist, states that over 90% of college learners delay task performance. 25% of these students are under threat of being expelled from college.

Unfortunately, not all schools pay attention to the psychological well-being of their students. Most schools accept students regarding only their medical check that describes physical measurements in most cases. Based on numerous studies, girls experience more stressful situations than boys in all countries. According to both European and Asian cultures, women made homes while men made houses. It means that females had to take care of families and perform household duties. They had no chances for self-realization. The impact of the past affects their self-realization today. They still struggle trying to prove that males and females are equal. The same happens to boys who want to perform the so-called female duties such as being a housewife, designing clothes, cooking, babysitting, etc. Both genders have to think about how to perform their gender roles, how to behave in the community, and what responsibilities could be neglected regarding their cultural environment and social aspects.

Another stressful factor is family traditions. Parents support their offspring and want them to follow their customs. If both parents are educated, they will not stand illiterate children. Such responsibility adds more stress during college years. Children hesitate between their desires and expectations of people who they depend on. Another negative aspect is a student’s self-esteem. When it is too low, every exam and small testing turns into a nightmare that might result in poor grading. When self-esteem is high, a student can wrongly evaluate personal knowledge and abilities. As a result, such students fail and face crucial disappointment that leads to depression, anxiety, and even Schizophrenia.

Dr. Radhika Kapur names ten factors that lead to psychological problems. These are a misunderstanding of academic concepts, tests and exams, low grades, financial difficulties, health disorders, the pressure created by a pile of academic homework, unfavorable learning conditions, strenuous relationships, gender, and social inequality, abuse from teachers, or other adolescents, and other citizens. When a child is going to become a part of the adult world, parents and school teachers together with local authorities should explain problems, academic concepts, and provide examples of social problems and solutions to let children be psychologically ready for sudden changes.

For example, a person needs to write an essay to enter college. Educators should explain how to do that and introduce great extended essay examples. Parents should involve their kids in essay competitions organized by local authorities and mass media where they will create excellent samples. Such a productive environment stimulates a student’s creativity and prepares him or her for college exams.

Another significant reason for children’s psychological problems is fashion. Fashion is a business. Someone creates stereotypes and trendy things that others want to follow. For example, Chinese girls are usually skinny, and shabby individuals are usually mistreated. Their skin must be white. So, they do everything possible to look like others. If they fail, it will affect their social position, self-esteem, and successful self-realization. The same happens with students in Northern Europe who want to catch up with a stylish look and successful college performance.

To conclude, too many factors can cause stressful situations and disappointment in students in countries with different cultures and traditions. It is impossible to avoid them and rescue students from psychological problems. However, parents, educators, and local authorities can create a favorable environment where students will learn how to solve problems, manage time, and understand what they can or cannot do.


  1. Cuijpers, Pim. “The Associations of Common Psychological Problems With Mental Disorders Among College Students.” Frontiers, 2021, www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyt.2021.573637/full.
  2. “Data and Statistics on Children’s Mental Health | CDC.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 15 June 2020, www.cdc.gov/childrensmentalhealth/data.html.
  3. Kapur, Radhika. “Psychological Problems among Students.” ResearchGate, Aug. 2019, www.researchgate.net/publication/334956226_Psychological_Problems_among_Students
  4. “A New Online Skinny Trend Has Emerged on Chinese Social Media and It Is Promoting Unhealthy Body Images, Experts Say.” Monash University, research.monash.edu/en/clippings/a-new-online-skinny-trend-has-emerged-on-chinese-social-media-and. Accessed 16 Jan. 2022.
  5. Siddique C.M. and Carl D’Arcy. “Adolescence, Stress, and Psychological Well-Being”. Journal of Youth and Adolescence 13.6(1984): 459-73. Print.
  6. “Time Management | Piedmont Technical College.” PTC, www.ptc.edu/college-resources/academic-resources/college-skills/time-management. Accessed 16 Jan. 2022.
  7. 马玉佳. “China’s Fair-Skinned Obsession- China.Org.Cn.” China.Org.Cn, www.china.org.cn/china/2018-05/31/content_51541008.htm. Accessed 16 Jan. 2022.
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