Parenting

Study: Inattentiveness Linked to Poor Academic Performance Later in Life

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If your child’s inattentiveness has caused you concern, it turns out that you might not be overreacting. A recent study conducted by the University of Bergen in Norway, in conjunction with researchers in Berkley, Calif., showed a strong correlation between inattentiveness in childhood and poor academic performance later in life.

Some parents might wonder why grades should really matter much in the long term, but there is an undeniable link between good grades, intellectual ability, and future success and stability. The researchers included children who had been given ADHD diagnoses, as well as those who had not. Science Daily breaks down the study:

The children were aged from 6-12 when the researchers recruited them and began the study. They assessed the children’s IQ and asked their parents to rate their inattentiveness. Finally, 10 years later, the researchers followed-up with the children to see how they had performed in school.

Unsurprisingly, children with higher IQ scores tended to perform better academically. Also, as expected, the children with ADHD showed higher inattentiveness compared with those without, and also performed worse in school. However, the negative effects of inattention on academic performance were not restricted to children with ADHD. “We found a surprisingly similar effect of early inattention on high school academic achievement across the two samples, an effect that remained even when we adjusted for intellectual ability,” explains [lead researcher Astri] Lundervold.

The findings are important because they stress the importance of focusing on inattentiveness — not just in children who experience ADHD, but in others as well. Inattentiveness is something that parents and teachers can address, with the proper tools, at an early age. The results might prove incredibly important as the child matures. Parents who suspect their children show more inattentiveness than what would be considered “normal” should broach the topic with their children’s teachers.