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By Karen PallaritoMONDAY, Aug. 17, 2009 (Health.com) — Height-challenged parents around the world can now breathe a sigh of relief. Contrary to popular belief, short children do just as well as their taller peers when it comes to social skills, popularity, and behavior.

Although short kids report a marginally higher level of teasing, they stand up to their taller peers across a range of social, emotional, and behavioral measures—and that’s true regardless of race, gender, or other factors.

“There’s just a lot of stereotypes about short stature and its impact on the well-being of children,” says study author Joyce M. Lee, MD, MPH, an assistant professor in the division of pediatric endocrinology at the University of Michigan and a pediatric endocrinologist at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, in Ann Arbor. “What I would stress is, parents should really be reassured by this data, but even if they have a child of moderate short stature, it’s not likely to have any impact on their emotional and behavioral well-being.”

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