One in five grade three boys have an emotional or behavioural problem and lag academically about 12 months behind their peers according to a recent academic study.
The study conducted by The Murdoch Children’s Research Institute involved 1000 boys and explored common emotional and behavioural problems and academic performance among eight and nine-year-old children.
The study found that the boys with emotional and behavioural difficulties – 20 per cent of the sample – were 12 months behind their peers in both reading and numeracy, which was assessed using the NAPLAN tests.
The boys were also three times more likely to be rated by their teachers as having poor English or mathematical skills, compared to boys without these problems, the study showed.
Previous research has shown that children with behaviour problems tend to struggle in school but this is the first study to show that boys with emotional problems are also falling behind in their learning.