Kimberley Kong


Numerous studies have documented relationships between problem behaviours and academic achievement measures. This study was initiated to address the relationship between parent-reported problem behaviour symptoms (externalising and internalising) and standardised measures of academic achievement. The sample comprised of 3678 boys and 3846 girls in Ireland who were tracked over two time points. The first wave of data was collected when the children were 9 years old, followed by a second wave when they turned 13 years. An autoregressive model linking data at age 9 and age 13 is used to test the linkages between problems behaviours (externalising and internalising) and academic achievement over time, while simultaneously controlling for within-time association. Secondarily, the study also seeks to clarify the association between symptoms of externalising and internalising within the broader domain of problem behaviours itself.  Results suggest that problems behaviours evident in middle childhood appeared to undermine academic competence by early adolescence. Likewise, early academic failures were associated with later problem behaviours. On the other hand, externalising and internalising difficulties showed reciprocal relationships over time.  Implications of cascade effects for research and intervention are discussed.


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