Short Children Found to Be as Well-Adjusted as Peers

They measure up to taller peers in behavioral, emotional and social development

TUESDAY, Aug. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Except for a marginal increase in peer victimization, children who are short in stature do not seem to have any added emotional or behavioral problems compared to non-short peers, according to a study published online Aug. 17 in Pediatrics.

Joyce M. Lee, M.D., of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and colleagues assessed a battery of surveys 712 sixth-grade boys and girls and their teachers by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. The surveys assessed and quantified the children's emotional development, behavior, social adjustment and peer relationships. The researchers compared the survey results of children who were short in stature (below 10th percentile) to those who were not short (10th percentile or greater).

While short children reported self-perceived peer victimization at higher levels (odds ratio, 2.46) compared to non-short peers, this difference was considered marginal by the researchers. The investigators found no other significant differences in the developmental measures for short versus non-short children.

"Pediatric providers may reassure families with children with stature in the lower ranges of height from a population-based sample do not experience poorer social, emotional, or behavioral functioning, compared with their taller peers," the authors write.

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Jeff Muise

Jeff Muise

Published on August 18, 2009

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