School problems more common in kids who worry about parent conflict

September 19, 2008

Problems at school are more likely in children who worry about their parents arguing, reported researchers in the September/October Child Development.

Problems at school are more likely in children who worry about their parents arguing, reported researchers in the September/October Child Development.

The investigators looked at 216 six-year-olds, their parents, and their teachers every year for three years. Attention problems were more frequent in children who were concerned about their parents' relationship a year after the concern was first identified. Child concerns were often based on actually seeing parental relationship problems firsthand.

In a separate Child Development study, 148 studies that looked at aggression and included a total of 74,000 children and adolescents were analyzed. Results showed that boys were more likely to engage in physical aggression, but both girls and boys took part in social aggression.

In addition, links were found between direct aggression and problems such as delinquency, symptoms of ADHD, poor peer relationships, and low prosocial behavior (eg, sharing and helping). Indirect aggression was linked to problems such as depression, low self-esteem, but higher prosocial behavior.