According to researchers at the University of Victoria, depressed and anxious children in first and second grade were more likely to be victimized by third grade. On the other hand, aggressive first graders were susceptible to depression and anxiety by the third grade. 

Bonnie J. Leadbeater, a professor of psychology at the University of Victoria who led the study states, "Children's early mental health problems can set the stage for abuse by their peers. Just as some children learn to read with greater difficulty than others and require extra assistance when they begin to lag behind their peers, young children with mental health problems show signs that they cannot manage the complex social world of elementary school. Treating children's mental health problems may go a long way toward reducing bullying."

So what are some solutions? Today I came across an interesting article from the American Journal of Play. Through studies they discovered that children's playtime has been declining over the years which has led to an increase of anxiety, depression, and problems of attention in children. In one study, mothers were asked to recall their memories of playtime and compare it with their own children's schedules. A whopping 85% stated that their children played outdoors less frequently than they had. Playtime was restricted due to safety concerns, plus many schools had eliminated recess.

How do you feel about this? Join us next week for an example of 5 ways that play can benefit a child.

Society for Research in Child Development (2009, May 18). Children Who Are Depressed, Anxious Or Aggressive In First Grade Risk Being Victimized Later On. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 6, 2013, from­ /releases/2009/05/090515083655.htm

Esther Entin, M.D., is a pediatrician and clinical associate professor of Family Medicine at Brown University's Warren Alpert School of Medicine.