Research: High School Students Who Tap Reduce their Fear of Failure

Written by: Nick Ortner

I’ve been lucky to be a part of many different projects introducing kids and teens to the technique of Tapping. And I have witnessed firsthand just how powerful Tapping can be in classrooms, children’s hospitals, and even within my own family (click here to read an inspiring story from my brother Alex about how Tapping helped his son with school-related nerves). And so, I’ve got a personal interest in the topic we will be discussing today. 

It turns out that kids are great at Tapping, and Tapping is great for kids! And now, we have more research to back this up.

Today, I’m going to walk you through a study where researchers explored whether or not Tapping could help improve emotional wellbeing in high school students. 

The study was titled, “Effectiveness of a School-Based Emotional Freedom Techniques Intervention for Promoting Student Wellbeing” and was published in the journal Adolescent Psychiatry in 2017.[1]

Students’ emotional wellbeing can have lifelong impacts

So, why did the researchers want to investigate the effects of EFT Tapping in high school students? Because emotional wellbeing in academic settings during school years can have lifelong impacts, and Tapping has the potential to have a positive influence!

When reviewing the existing literature in this field of study, the authors note that social and emotional health has been strongly linked to academic success. On top of that, struggling in school can lead to disengagement and dropout, and it can also contribute to challenges throughout life as well.[1]

In the authors’ words, “In academic settings, fear of failure and associated emotional difficulties are common and often result in maladaptive behaviors, which often lead to failure or lowered scholastic achievement… Long-term underachievement… can result in decreased physical and mental health, lesser professional achievement and income… and dysfunctional interpersonal relationships.”[1]

It’s pretty clear that emotional health and wellbeing among students is really important to pay attention to, as it can have big impacts on young peoples’ lives. When fear of failure in school is high, it doesn’t set our kids up for success. 

The good news is that the research is also very clear that many factors related to emotional health, like fear of failure, self-esteem, and resilience, aren’t set in stone; they can be positively influenced through effective interventions.[1]

If only we knew of a tool that helps people to release fear, improve emotional wellbeing, increase confidence, and feel better… Oh that’s right – it’s Tapping 😊

Researchers explore Tapping as a tool for boosting emotional wellbeing in high schoolers

In order to investigate if Tapping could help students in high school with their emotional wellbeing, the researchers gathered 204 10th graders from two different high schools in Australia. [1]

At both the beginning of the study and at the end of the study, all of the students were assessed using various questionnaires to measure levels of self-esteem, resilience, fear of failure, and social and emotional difficulties. The researchers also followed up with the students to assess them 3 months and 12 months after the conclusion of the study.

After the initial assessment, the students began the EFT Tapping treatment program. The 5-week program consisted of weekly sessions, each 75 minutes in length. Each week, qualified EFT practitioners instructed the students on how to use EFT Tapping. The students learned how to Tap and applied Tapping during the sessions on their fears, anxieties, and limiting beliefs around school (as well as other areas of their life).

The entire intervention was conducted within school hours. As the authors of the study remarked, “This represented an important strength of the trial, as it did not impose on student’s personal time which may have decreased time available to complete schoolwork and increased academic stress.”[1]

Findings show that Tapping is great at reducing fear of failure in students

This study looked at a lot of different variables, and there were many different outcomes to analyze. I’ll just share a few of the most important highlights here.

The most striking finding from the analysis was that fear of failure reduced significantly from before the study to the follow-up period. A whole year after the study concluded, fear of failure in these students was significantly lower than it was before the EFT Tapping intervention. This means that the students noticed a marked difference in how afraid they were of failing at school – a very important and meaningful outcome!

The analysis also showed that levels of social and emotional difficulties shifted positively over time.

Interestingly, resilience and self-esteem didn’t change in any significant way over the course of the study. The authors believe that this could have been due to several different factors, such as the large group format (with the intervention not being specific to individuals within the group).  

Still more to learn, but a lot to be excited about!

While not all the outcomes improved over the course of the study as the authors had theorized, they were still hopeful about the results and saw them as a great jumping off point for future studies.

This study taught us a few key things:

  1. Tapping appears to be very effective at helping high school students reduce their fear of failure in school. This is HUGE! When kids are afraid of failing, they are more stressed out and tend to perform worse. If we can effectively teach our kids how to increase their confidence and release their fears, then that could be a big game changer!
  1. There is still so much to learn! Researchers have a lot to learn about how to apply EFT Tapping in group settings, how Tapping works with teenagers compared to other age groups, what it’s like to use Tapping to improve emotional wellbeing in the context of school and academics, and so much more. It will be exciting to see where the research takes us, and what the science will reveal to us along the way.

In the meantime, are you ready to try Tapping to help your child or teen for stress, fears, anxiety, or other concerns? Don’t wait to start! It’s an incredible tool, and you will be amazed at the results.

If you are interested in learning more about how to use Tapping within school and classroom settings, check out our Educator/Parent Corner, part of The Tapping Solution Foundation website.

You can also head to The Tapping Solution App for guided meditations for kids and teens, such as:

  • Micro Boost of Confidence for Kids
  • Creating a Great Day for Kids
  • Calming the Body & Mind for Sleep

And feel free to check out this video to see for yourself the powerful effects of Tapping in schools.

Until next time… Keep Tapping!

Nick Ortner


  1. Stapleton P, Mackay E, Chatwin H, et al. Effectiveness of a school-based Emotional Freedom Techniques intervention for promoting student wellbeingAdolescent Psychiatry. 2017;7(2):112-126.

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Over 17 Million Tapping Meditations Played in Our App!
Get Instant Access to our "Releasing Anxiety" and "Sleep Support: Quiet The Racing Mind" Tapping meditations.
Yes, I agree to receive email messages from The Tapping Solution & understand that I can unsubscribe at any time. Privacy Policy.