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The impact of relative age effects on psychosocial development: A systematic review.

ROSE, Sarah and BARLOW, Claire (2023) The impact of relative age effects on psychosocial development: A systematic review. British Journal of Educational Psychology.. e12630. ISSN 2044-8279

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Abstract or description

Within the same school class, it is usual to find children who differ in age by almost a full calendar year. Although associations between being relatively young and poor academic outcomes are well documented, and relatively consistent, the associations between being relatively young and psychosocial outcomes are less clearly documented.

To review research which presents data relating to associations between a child’s relative age and their psychosocial development.

A systematic review was conducted and reported in accordance with PRISMA guidelines.

Fifty-nine papers met the inclusion criteria. The outcomes of the narrative synthesis and three meta-analyses found consistent, but very small, associations with relative age indicating that those who are relatively young are more likely to have more negative behaviour, mental wellbeing and social experiences.

Although being relatively young is associated with more negative psychosocial outcomes the magnitude of these associations are consistently small. Furthermore, many of the outcome measures used are likely to be the result of multiple influences, not limited to the effects of relative age. Therefore, the findings are reassuring as they suggest that relative age itself is unlikely to substantially increase an individual’s risk of poor psychosocial development.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: mental health; psychosocial; relative age effect; summer born; well being.
Faculty: School of Life Sciences and Education > Psychology and Counselling
Depositing User: Sarah ROSE
Date Deposited: 25 Aug 2023 15:36
Last Modified: 26 Aug 2023 04:30

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