Stress and nervousness attack 11-year olds in the UK because of high parental expectations and demanding SAT tests, reveals a new study.
Queen's University researchers questioned as many as 1000 eleven and 12-year-olds.
Youngsters said their primary school years are marred by feelings of anxiety and inadequacy due to crunch exams and parental expectations of their performance, reports the Daily Mail.
It found that children were broadly in favour of being tested at school, with many admitting it helped them learn.
But the Wellcome Trust research also raised concerns about the possible effects on children's mental health.
"The impact of science assessment on friendships and home life was largely negative," the report said.
"Fewer than one in five children recorded any positive effect. The main reasons for the negative impact of assessment on children's friendships were related to competitiveness, deteriorating relationships, negative emotions and bullying."
One child told researchers: "My family push me too much and my friends get all nervous and angry and don't want to be friends anymore."
Another said: "I was just stressed and my siblings wouldn't leave me alone to study and I would be mad and my parents would take everything away from me: phone, computer etc. They put too much pressure on me."
The researchers concluded that teachers, parents and the Government "must acknowledge that assessment regimes can affect the personal development and confidence of children" and attempt to minimise the problem.
According to the survey, 95 per cent of youngsters said science assessment was 'useful', but only 10 per cent said SATs were the best way of finding out how well they were doing in the subject.