Big school stress hits one in two

10th September 1999 at 01:00
CHILDREN suffer more from aches and pains and skin problems as they move from primary to secondary school, a study by Glasgow University has found.

Helen Sweeting, who works for the Medical Research Council in Glasgow's Social and Public Health Unit, told a conference for home economics teachers that of 2,500 children born in or near the city around 1983 about a third suffered from generalised aches and pains in primary 7 but a half were afflicted by S2.

In S2, almost two-thirds suffered from stomach pains, colds, influenza and headaches compared with only 60 per cent in primary 7. Dr Sweeting said:

"Perhaps more of a surprise is that symptoms of malaise - possibly reflecting a psychological component - were described by so many. Half the 13-year-olds reported having recently suffered from nerves or anxiety and irritability or temper."

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