Education post candidates stress need to assure quality instruction to all students ::

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is Mary Ann Wolf’s “Final Word” from the Oct. 3, 2020 broadcast of Education Matters -“A discussion with the N.C. Superintendent of Public Instruction candidates.” Wolf is president and executive director of the Public School Forum of North Carolina.

Elections matter and we appreciated the opportunity to hear from Dr. Jen Mangrum and Catherine Truitt, the Democratic and Republican candidates for State Superintendent. We are grateful to them for taking time to speak with us and for running for statewide office. Our democracy needs more than ever public servants who are committed to serving in challenging yet incredibly important leadership roles. It’s a significant undertaking to run for office.



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To cope with pandemic stress, many women turned to alcohol, continuing a worrying trend

Alcohol-related deaths are on the rise in the U.S., a report published Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds.

The report, from the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics, found that deaths from alcohol use increased by 43 percent from 2006 to 2018.

Full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak

The findings, which don’t include data from this year, come as other research highlights how drinking remains a problem for many in the U.S., particularly among women.

Indeed, the CDC report found that the impact was greatest on women. “While rates were higher for males than females for each year,” the study authors wrote, “the rate of change was greater for females.”

The report didn’t give reasons for the increase among women, but it suggested that women living far outside city limits may have been more at risk. “From 2000 through 2018, greater percentage increases in the rates

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Health education classes help anxious college students handle stress, study finds

Photo (c) Piotr Marcinski – Fotolia

High levels of stress among college students has prompted experts to explore ways to combat anxiety, and recent studies have suggested that breathing techniques and petting dogs can be helpful. 

Now, a new study conducted by researchers from Binghamton University looked at how college students can shift their perspectives about stress. According to their findings, taking a health education class could help students who are prone to nervousness change their attitudes about stress. 

“This is important for several reasons,” said researcher Jennifer Wegmann. “First, helping students develop a more positive or enhancing stress mindset has been associated with improved mental health, increased performance and productivity. Second, general health education courses are available to large numbers of students. There typically are few, if any, stress-specific courses offered on college campuses, and if they are offered, many are limited in student capacity.” 

Personality affects perception


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Enrolling in health education courses may help change student’s beliefs about stress — ScienceDaily

College students are under a lot of stress, even more so lately due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Based on certain personality types, especially neurotic personalities, college health courses could help students develop a more positive stress mindset, according to research from faculty at Binghamton University, State University of New York.

A research team including Binghamton University Health and Wellness Studies Lecturer Jennifer Wegmann sought to evaluate the impact of health education on the change of stress mindset and also to explore the role of personality in the change of stress mindset when there is a specific focus on improving individual health and well-being. Specifically, they sought to assess the relationship between each personality dimension (i.e., neuroticism, extraversion, openness, agreeableness and conscientiousness) and stress mindset change over time.

“The findings surrounding specific personality dimensions were interesting,” said Wegmann. “It appears that engaging in health education is beneficial in changing perceptions of

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