England: Summer-born children are more likely to suffer depression in childhood

07 November 2019

The youngest children in the school year are 30% more likely to develop depression than their older peers, according to analysis of data from more than a million UK children.

Summer-born children – those born in the last three months of the academic year – were 1.3 times more likely than the oldest quarter of children in the school year to be diagnosed with intellectual disability, 1.4 times more likely to be diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and 1.3 times more likely to be diagnosed with depression.

The paper, published in JAMA Pediatrics, points out that younger children may find it harder to concentrate, leading to overdiagnosis of hyperactivity. Other issues such as inferior academic performance and poorer peer relationships can also lead to mental health problems.

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