The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Politics beckons friendless children

London, Dec. 26: Children who do not get along with their classmates at the age of 10 often end up joining political parties or church groups as adults, according to a new study.

Researchers found that children’s self-image could be so dented by their early experiences that they were drawn to organisations where their friends were ready-made and chances of rejection lower. Researchers said they may also achieve some kind of status in a church group or political party not found in regular social circles.

The findings, by the Institute for Social and Economic Research, based at Essex University, come from an analysis of data on 16,771 births between April 5-11, 1970.

Further information was collected at ages five, 10, 16, 26 and 30. At 10, children were asked questions about their relationships with their peers, such as if they felt lonely at school, if they thought other children said nasty things about them and if they often had nobody to play with.

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