In a help to worrying mothers who face trouble in gauging their children’s state of mind, Spanish researchers have claimed to have developed a method to assess their stress level.

Researchers from the University of Malaga have created the method that provides valuable information for the development of psycho-educational intervention guidelines to improve school interaction and encourage children to develop the appropriate tools to manage daily stress level.

According to experts, worrying about physical appearance, taking part in numerous extracurricular activities and being alone a lot are some of the factors that increase the risk of suffering from childhood stress.

“The figures endorse the need for specific tools to assess daily stress amongst schoolchildren,” lead author Maria Victoria Trianes.

The method — ‘Inventory of Daily Stressors’ — is linked to school grades and health problems. Some of the most influential factors are worrying about physical appearance, taking part in too many extracurricular activities and being alone a lot, the New Scientist reported.

The report lists 25 daily situations in the fields of health, school, family and peer relationships, all relevant to childhood development. The inventory is also validated by other sources such as teaching staff and parents.

1,094 children (533 boys and 561 girls), aged between 8 and 12 and from 17 different educational institutions across Malaga, took part in the study.

“It is important to create tools to assess daily childhood stress, as this is an area which lacks resources specific to these age groups,” Trianes points out.

The assessment of daily stress in childhood has become increasingly important over the last 20 years.

Experts claim that stress leads children and teenagers to develop symptoms of depression and anxiety, sleep disorders, eating disorders, disruptive behaviour and academic under performance.

There can also be consequences for their physical health.

Therefore “prevention and effective treatment will have positive consequences for mental health and development in childhood and adolescence”, concludes Trianes