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Shy kids entering kindergarten at ‘academic disadvantage': study

Shy children are at an academic disadvantage when they enter kindergarten, says a new study.
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(Relaxnews) – As the start of another school year looms, a new study reveals that shy kids are at an increased risk of “disappearing” in the classroom and may be at an academic disadvantage compared to their more chatty, outgoing classmates.

Published in the Journal of School Psychology and released this week, the study found that children who displayed shy, withdrawn behavior early in the preschool year not only started out with the lowest academic skills, but were also the slowest to make academic progress throughout the year.

“Preschool children who are very introverted tend to ‘disappear within the classroom,'” says Elizabeth R. Bell co-author of the study in a statement. “It appears that while these children are not causing problems in the school, they are also not engaging in classroom activities and interactions, where almost all learning occurs during this age.”

The results were gleaned after analyzing data from nearly 4,420 pre-kindergarten children ages 3 to 5 living in the US. Teachers assessed the emotional and behavioral characteristics and the academic progress of each child at three points during the year.

The University of Miami study also found that older kids and girls tended to be better adjusted, exhibited less behavioral problems and had higher levels of social literacy, language and math skills.

Meanwhile, a study published recently out of Australia found that more than academic success, a strong social network is a strong indicator that children will grow into happy adults. Researchers looked at factors like a child’s likeability, time spent alone, relationships with parents, peers, and participation in youth groups and sporting clubs.

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