A longitudinal study of early reading difficulties and subsequent problem behaviors

Scand J Psychol. 2011 Jun;52(3):242-50. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9450.2011.00870.x. Epub 2011 Feb 18.


It is generally believed that early academic failure in school develops into a downward spiral of negative motivational and behavioral consequences. In this study, children with reading difficulties were compared with typical readers on questionnaires measuring ADHD symptoms and other behavior problems such as withdrawn symptoms, somatic complaints, anxiety/depression, social problems, and aggression. The results revealed that reading difficulties and problem behaviors appear more independent of each other rather than problem behaviors being a consequence of reading failure. In addition, gender differences were negligible when examining the relationship between reading difficulties and subsequent problem behavior. Some implications for special education and intervention are suggested.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aggression / psychology
  • Child
  • Child Behavior Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Child Behavior Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Child Behavior Disorders / psychology
  • Comorbidity
  • Dyslexia / diagnosis*
  • Dyslexia / epidemiology*
  • Dyslexia / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internal-External Control
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Mass Screening / statistics & numerical data
  • Personality Assessment / statistics & numerical data
  • Phonetics
  • Psychometrics / statistics & numerical data
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sex Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Sweden
  • Verbal Learning