Having to study is the biggest source of stress for schoolchildren on both sides of the Taiwan Strait according to children's paintings analyzed by the John Jung Foundation.
"This is the finding of a painting contest participated in by elementary school children in Taiwan's greater Taipei area and Ningpo City in China's Zhejiang province," said Huang Chen-tai (黃鎮台), executive director of the John Tung Foundation, a non-profit group dedicated to promoting public health.
The foundation held the painting contest between July and October last year, with entrants required to depict their mood and ways to ease their depression or ill feelings. The foundation collected 1,582 paintings by schoolchildren in Taipei City and Taipei County as well as 564 by their Ningpo counterparts.
It marked the first time that the foundation has held a cross-strait cooperative program to promote mental health education.
Analyzing the works, Huang said the entries demonstrated interesting cultural diversities resulting from different living environments, languages and lifestyles.
Nevertheless, he said, all the works indicated that academic study is the top source of stress for young students; followed by worries about being scolded by parents due to poor exam scores or having to learn various skills.
The contest also found that Taiwan students' paintings were more colorful and more imaginative, while Chinese students' works were mostly in monotone and dull colors and more realistic in their expression.