08/30/2011 04:19 EDT | Updated 10/30/2011 05:12 EDT

B.C. Kids Face Highest Back-To-School Anxiety


B.C. kids have the highest levels of anxiety about heading back to school, a national Angus Reid survey suggests.

The survey indicates parents have noticed the level of stress in their kids rises in the final days before school starts again, with kids from B.C. showing the highest levels at 47 per cent.

Parents who believe their kids are feeling anxious identified new teachers (54 per cent), a new schedule (48 per cent) and being overwhelmed by homework (40 per cent) as the main triggers attributed to their kids' back-to-school stress.

"Most people get nervous when they face change, so it's normal for many kids to feel anxious about going back to school," said Dr. Stephen Whiteside, a child psychologist at the Mayo Clinic.

"One of the most helpful things you can do is reassure your children what they're feeling is normal."

The survey found parents with anxious children are trying to help ease their anxieties by getting back into a routine by getting up earlier (58 per cent), sharing experiences on what makes them feel anxious and how they handle stressful situations (54 per cent), and going for a visit to their school or classroom before school begins (23 per cent).

The online survey was conducted from Aug. 25-26 among 2,006 randomly selected Canadian adults who are Angus Reid Forum panelists.

The margin of error — which measures sampling variability — is plus or minus 2.14 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and region census data to ensure a sample representative of the entire adult population of Canada. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.