Children who get promoted ahead of their age group at school can do well at university and in life, a new study has found.

Dr Ann Easter, who has done the doctoral study at Waikato University, says her research dispels many teachers' fears that "accelerating" children into higher classes with older children may harm their social development.

The 10 students she interviewed, who started university aged 13 to 16, struggled with what she calls "the three 'D's - dating, drinking and driving". Many were too young to go to bars or get their driver's licences, and several boys