Did you know academic stress in kids can spur ADHD?

New York: If you are in the rat race to make your toddler an over-achiever, then be cautious. According to a new study, the increasing academic stress on younger children is likely to be the reason behind the high prevalence of attention-deficit disorder.

While ADHD is a neurobiological condition, it is influenced by age-dependent behaviours and demands of the environment.

While ADHD is a neurobiological condition, it is influenced by age-dependent behaviours and demands of the environment

Researchers from the University of Miami in the US hypothesized that increased academic standards since the 1970s have contributed to the rise in diagnosis of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

From time spent studying to enrolment rates in pre-primary programmes, everything had increased, and not surprisingly, in the past 40 years also saw ADHD diagnoses double, the study revealed.

The results showed that from 1981 to 1997, time spent teaching three to five-year-olds letters and numbers increased 30 percent.

Also, the percentage of young children enrolled in full-day programmes increased from 17 percent in 1970 to 58 percent in the mid-2000s.

Further, six to eight-year-olds in 1997 saw time spent on homework increase to more than two hours a week, when a decade earlier their peers were studying less than an hour.

"When we researched educational and public policy literature for studies that documented time children spent on academic activities, we were alarmed to find how substantially education had changed since the '70s," said Jeffrey Brosco, professor at the University of Miami.

While ADHD is a neurobiological condition, it is influenced by age-dependent behaviours and demands of the environment, the researchers noted.

As academic activities have increased, time for playing and leisure has decreased, resulting in some children being seen as outliers and ultimately being diagnosed with ADHD.

"We feel that the academic demands being put on young children are negatively affecting a portion of them," Brosco added.

"For example, beginning kindergarten a year early doubles the chance that a child will need medications for behavioural issues," he said.

The study, published in JAMA Pediatrics, should not be seen as maligning full-day programming or education for young children. Children should, however, participate in learning activities that are developmentally age appropriate, the researchers suggested.

At such a young age, he adds, what's most important is that kids experience free play, social interactions and use of imagination.


Updated Date: Mar 07, 2016 16:37 PM

Also Watch

Watch: Firstpost test rides the new Thunderbird 500X in Goa and walks you through the Royal Enfield Garage Cafe
  • Tuesday, April 17, 2018 Varun Dhawan on Shoojit Sircar's October, 5-star reviews and working with Anushka Sharma in Sui Dhaaga
  • Saturday, April 14, 2018 Ambedkar Jayanti: Re-visiting Babasaheb's ideals exposes fake Dalit politics of Rahul Gandhi and Congress
  • Monday, April 9, 2018 48 hours with Huawei P20 Pro: Triple camera offering is set to redefine smartphone imaging
  • Monday, April 16, 2018 Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore interview: Sports can't be anyone's fiefdom, we need an ecosystem to nurture raw talent

Also See