Is Homework Making Your Child Sick?

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CNN -- How many hours do your kids spend doing homework each night? A new study suggests that for some students, too much homework is literally making them sick.

Researchers found that, on average, high school students are doing more than 3 hours of homework each night. And get this, 56 percent of students in the study say it’s the primary stressor in their lives.

Here’s the back story: researchers say they wanted to take a close look at the effect of homework load on students' lives, including its effects on their well-being, classroom engagement, and overall level of stress.

The study published in the Journal of Experimental Education surveyed more than 4,300 students from ten high performing public and private high schools in upper middle-class areas of California. These schools were chosen, according to researchers, because the value of homework is deeply entrenched in those communities. The research found that excessive homework is associated with physical health problems such as migraines, ulcers, weight loss and sleep deprivation as well as a lack of balance in children’s lives and high stress levels.

But one of the potential weaknesses of the study: researchers relied on students’ self-reporting.