Study: Being Youngest In Your Class Could Raise Mental Risk Factors

KYW’s Medical Reports Sponsored By Independence Blue Cross

By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) —  Is there an advantage or a disadvantage to being a so-called relatively younger student in a class? A relatively younger student is someone who is younger in age, but in the same grade as other children.

According to a report in the journal Lancet Psychiatry, it is a disadvantage to be younger.

In their report, they found that younger children in a certain grade level were more likely to be diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder compared with older children.

The study was conducted in Finland which has the lowest prescription rates for ADHD of any Nordic country.

This is not the first time that the relative age effect has been studied.

Prior research has found that being a younger student was a risk factor for mental health problems in children.

Obviously this is not a 100% association but it is something that should be considered for parents who may be deciding at what age a child should start school.

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