Monkey Business Images/ShutterstockEven if your pre-schooler is precocious—or possibly a genius, you might think twice before signing her up for kindergarten early.
That’s because children who are younger than their peers (who are closer to the minimum age cut-off for starting school) tend to get lower grades and require more special education assistance than their older peers, according to new research from University of Exeter Medical School in England, and one of the first studies to look at how starting school on the younger side may impact a child’s mental health.
The study, published in the journal Child Care, Health and Development, used data culled from an existing study called the “Supporting Teachers and Children in Schools Study” (STCS Study), which included 2,075 elementary school students (ages five through nine) from 80 different schools in Devon, England. The STCS study included a parent- and teacher-reported “Strengths and Difficulties” questionnaire, which assessed the tendency of the students to experience negative emotions such as worry and fear, to have poorer relationships with their peers, and to be more likely to encounter issues with behavior and concentration. (Watch out for these signs your child may have anxiety.)
Scores from the questionnaire indicated…
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