BOSTON, July 10 (UPI) — More than 20 percent of U.S. kindergartners and first-graders demonstrate mental health issues, researchers found.
Dr. Alice S. Carter of the University of Massachusetts in Boston and colleagues said the study involved 1,329 healthy children born from July 1995 and September 1997 in the New Haven–Meriden Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area.
The researchers used birth records, parent and teacher interviews.
Carter said as children transition to formal schooling, 21.6 percent will have a psychiatric disorder with impairment. In addition, the risk of co-morbidity — the risk of two or more disorders of any type — was 5.8 percent.
Sociodemographic and psychosocial correlates included persistent poverty beginning in early childhood, limited parental education, low family expressiveness, stressful life events and exposure to violence exposure.
The findings are scheduled to be published in the July issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.
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