Investigation of relationship between age of onset to primary school and mental health problems.


Objective: Due to a new regulation within the educatory system that had started within the 2012-2013 school year, children that were to start school a year earlier due to the new regulation were compared to those who did not, by maintaining an excuse report with respect to the effects of starting school early on psychiatric problems and quality of life. Method: This study included three groups of children that admitted to our clinic linked to the new regulation that stated children to start a year early to school; children who were referred to obtain an excuse report to postpone the child’s early start to school (n = 34), children who had started primary school but experienced some troubles (n = 33) and children who began the school but did not experience any negative experience (n = 33) who did not clinically apply to the unit. The study included children of 60-72 months old and their parents. Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) and Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory-Parent Proxy Report Ages 5-7 (PedsQL) were applied to the parents of children. Clinical interview and evaluation of the children were carried out and PedsQL-Child Self- Report form was applied to the children by clinicians. Results: Mean age of all three groups were similar, there were no difference regarding ages of mothers and fathers, mothers’ education levels, and income levels (p > 0.05). Although there was no difference among groups in terms of SDQ scores of mental health problem severity scores, PedsQLChild report scores were found statistically different. As a result of dual analysis of each group, quality of life in children whose onset to primary school being postponed by the excuse report, were higher than that of the other two groups of children (p = 0.017). Discussion: These results have shown that quality of life in children who were started to primary school earlier was negatively affected.