Accessibility Links

Inattentiveness at school 'linked to worse academic performance'

05/09/2017 Joanna

Children who struggle to focus their attention may experience a worse academic performance for many years to come.

This is according to a new study from the University of Bergen in Norway, which has indicated that schools need to do more to tackle attentiveness problems in order to prevent students from falling behind.

The research assessed a group of children aged six to ten years of age, whose IQs were assessed, while parents were asked to rate their overall inattentiveness. Ten years later, the researchers conducted a follow-up assessment to see how they had performed in school, with this data then combined with a sample of girls from another long-term study in Berkeley, California, where a large subgroup had been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

As expected, it was shown that children with higher IQ scores tended to perform better academically, while those with ADHD showed higher inattentiveness than those without, and also performed worse in school.

However, it was also pointed out that the negative effects of inattention on academic performance were not restricted to children with ADHD, with the effect of early-years inattention on grades shown to be similar regardless of medical diagnosis or intelligence levels.

This underlines the importance of teachers taking steps to address issues with attentiveness, which can not only make it difficult for students to focus in school and on homework, but can also lead to mood disorders and cause difficulties interacting with other children.

Astri Lundervold, a researcher at the University of Bergen, said: "Remedial strategies and training programmes for these children should be available at school, and not just for children with a specific diagnosis. Parents and teachers could also benefit from training to help address the needs of inattentive children."

Add new comment