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Acta Paediatr. 2008 Sep;97(9):1265-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1651-2227.2008.00919.x.

Massage decreases aggression in preschool children: a long-term study.

Author information

1
Department of Neuroscience, Uppsala University, Sweden. anne-liis.von_knorring@bupinst.uu.se

Abstract

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.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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