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Massage decreases aggression in preschool children: a long-term study
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Neuroscience.
2008 (English)In: Acta Paediatrica, ISSN 0803-5253, E-ISSN 1651-2227, Vol. 97, no 9, 1265-1269 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Aim: To evaluate the effects of massage in 4- to 5-year-old children with aggression and deviant behaviour at day-care centres. Method: The children received daily massage in preschool at the midday rest (n = 60). The controls were listening to a story (n = 50). The Child Behaviour Checklist (CBCL) was used to rate the children's behaviour by parents and staff before the treatment started, and after 3 and 6 months. A long-term evaluation was also carried out. It included all massaged children still in daycare after 12 months (n = 34). Results: Children with high scores of behaviour problems, receiving massage and/or extra attention showed significant decrease in aggression scores after 3 months, but after 6 months significantly lowered scores were only found in massage-treated deviant children. Parents of the children receiving massage rated a significant decrease of somatic problems of their children. Staff rated that the massaged children's social problems decreased, compared to the control children. Attention problems tended to decrease, especially at home. A continuous decrease in aggressive behaviour and somatic problems over a 12-month period was observed in the children receiving massage. Conclusion: Daily touching by massage lasting for 5-10 min could be an easy and inexpensive way to decrease aggression among preschool children.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 97, no 9, 1265-1269 p.
Keyword [en]
aggression, deviant behaviour, long-term treatment, massage, preschool children
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-109170DOI: 10.1111/j.1651-2227.2008.00919.xISI: 000258277400023PubMedID: 18782279OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-109170DiVA: diva2:249034
Available from: 2009-10-09 Created: 2009-10-09 Last updated: 2011-03-17Bibliographically approved

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