Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Later Entry Into Grade 1 Boosts Self-esteem Later In Life, Study Shows

Date:
January 11, 2005
Source:
University Of Alberta
Summary:
A new study from the University of Alberta suggests it may be better to enroll your child in the first grade later than sooner. The study says that students who entered Grade 1 at an older age relative to their classmates scored significantly better years later on tests that measure self-esteem.

A new study from the University of Alberta suggests it may be better to enroll your child in the first grade later than sooner.

The study says that students who entered Grade 1 at an older age relative to their classmates scored significantly better years later on tests that measure self-esteem. This is important, the study's authors say, because there is much evidence linking higher self-esteem in childhood to happier, healthier, and more successful lives as adults.

Conversely, lower self-esteem in childhood can lead to the development of a variety of emotional disturbances and an increased risk of suicide, added Dr. Gus Thompson, lead author of the study and a population health professor at the U of A.

"Given all this evidence, I would encourage parents to consider deferring school entry if the child is going to be among the youngest in Grade 1," he said.

Thompson believes the connection between higher self-esteem and the older age at entry into Grade 1 is due to a phenomenon known as the relative age effect, which refers to previous studies that showed older children generally enjoy more success than their younger counterparts when they participate in an age-grouped, competitive program or activity together.

"I think it's important for parents and teachers to expose their children to as much success as they can in order to improve their self-esteem, and holding a child back before entering Grade 1 is one of the ways to do this," Thompson said.

Published in the Winter 2004 edition of Educational Research, the study is based on analysis of more than 1,100 children in Edmonton, Alberta, where the standard age for Grade 1 entry ranges from 5 and-a-half to 6 and-a-half years old. Although the law requires school attendance, parents in Alberta are given some discretion regarding the year at which their children enter Grade 1.

Of course, for every child held back, another younger child becomes exposed to an increased risk of lower self-esteem at the opposite end of the relative age scale, Thompson noted, adding that this makes the situation difficult for policy makers.

Furthermore, Thompson said other studies have shown that parents' and teachers' direct efforts to boost children's self-esteem are largely fruitless.

"If you're always praising them, that amounts to no praise at all," Thompson said. "Constantly telling them that they are wonderful, even when they are not, does not work because children can see right through that and, consequently, lose respect for the message."

Thompson favours the development of self-confidence, and adds that there are many other, indirect ways to help a child increase their self-esteem.

"You can provide an environment in which the child feels secure, and you can try to teach them self-confidence and instill in them a love of learning by rewarding them when they succeed," Thompson said. "Definitely, you do not want to punish them for failing or expose them to unnecessary stress."

"Of course, a child that grows up in a strong family and has good teachers and good genetics will probably do well no matter how old they are when they enter Grade 1. This study just shows that if they enter at a younger age it may be a little bit harder for them."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Alberta. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Alberta. "Later Entry Into Grade 1 Boosts Self-esteem Later In Life, Study Shows." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 January 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/01/050111092635.htm>.
University Of Alberta. (2005, January 11). Later Entry Into Grade 1 Boosts Self-esteem Later In Life, Study Shows. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/01/050111092635.htm
University Of Alberta. "Later Entry Into Grade 1 Boosts Self-esteem Later In Life, Study Shows." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/01/050111092635.htm (accessed September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

AP (Sep. 15, 2014) The FDA is considering whether to ban devices used by the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton, Massachusetts, the only place in the country known to use electrical skin shocks as aversive conditioning for aggressive patients. (Sept. 15) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Newsy (Sep. 13, 2014) A U.K. survey found that journalists consumed the most amount of coffee, but that's only the tip of the coffee-related statistics iceberg. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Magic Mushrooms' Could Help Smokers Quit

'Magic Mushrooms' Could Help Smokers Quit

Newsy (Sep. 11, 2014) In a small study, researchers found that the majority of long-time smokers quit after taking psilocybin pills and undergoing therapy sessions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Fat Shaming' Might Actually Cause Weight Gain

'Fat Shaming' Might Actually Cause Weight Gain

Newsy (Sep. 11, 2014) A study for University College London suggests obese people who are discriminated against gain more weight than those who are not. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

      Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile: iPhone Android Web
      Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins