London: So-called "cool" kids sail through life easier than their counterparts as they are generally happier and healthier, a study has found. The study of more than 300 kindergarten children found those who were in subordinate social positions were more likely to develop problematic behaviour, be depressed and perform poorly at school.

Californian researchers also found how the children responded to their low social status could also depend on how well-off their families were.

Jake Najman, a professor of medical sociology at the University of Queensland, said children from poorer families were starting school from a disadvantaged base.

"What they found was one of the most important determinants of the children''s health was their social class or socioeconomic background," quoted him as saying.

The children then dealt with further disadvantage at school differently because their social class affected how they learnt to interact with others.

"We know middle-class and upper-class people learn rules about how you interact that are probably more effective in terms of getting what they want," he said. The study has been published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


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