Stress Effects Children's Social Skill, Academic Success
> 6/25/2007 9:41:20 AM

Research presented at the 2007 meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development expounded on the link between a child’s social skills and their academic development. The study, conducted at Michigan State University, found that social skills as early as age three could affect a child’s social and academic performance.

The researchers found that children who have elevated amounts of stress tend to demonstrate lower social skills than classmates without as much stress. They also found that active participation by parents in their child’s academic life results in positive performance in both the long and short term.

Lead researcher, Holly Brophy-Herb spoke with Medical News Today and said:

"Early intervention is an important tool for enhancing and supporting early development. But we must also focus on how interventions work, whether they are curricular interventions or comprehensive early intervention services, such as Early Head Start (EHS), under what circumstances and for whom.”

These findings fall in line with earlier research in illuminating that children who are given positive reinforcement at home with actively involved caretakers, tend to excel in social interactions. Positive social experiences at an early age set the table for increased social well-being, and also lay the ground work for a life that will be successful in both the classroom and society. Understanding this, and further exploring the mechanisms through which we might reduce stressors, will ultimately improve outcomes for children.

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