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Pre-school play at age 3 lowers mental health risk at 7

22 July 2022

Research in Child Psychiatry and Human Development has found that pre-school children who play well with others tend to have better mental health when older.

University of Cambridge researchers analysed data from 1676 children born in Australia between March 2003 and February 2004 collected when aged three and seven. It revealed that those with better peer play ability at age three showed fewer signs of poor mental health four years later, with lower hyperactivity, fewer conduct and emotional problems, and a smaller likelihood of fighting with other children. This was still true for children at risk of mental health problems and when factors such as poverty or maternal psychological distress were considered.

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