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Children who start school younger than most of their peers may be at slightly elevated risk for mental health difficulties, suggests a study in Child: Care, Health and Development.Researchers examined data from a survey of more than 2,000 5-to 9-year-old children in the United Kingdom. The results of a teacher and parent questionnaire indicated that children who were at the youngest end of their peer group had somewhat higher levels of emotional, conduct, hyperactivity/inattention and peer relationship problems. The researchers suggest that being younger than peers has little impact for many children but could tip children who face other challenges, such as learning differences, toward mental health problems.

Susie Bean Gives