"Behavior problems including attention issues, delinquency, and substance use are associated with diminished achievement, but depression is not," said the study's lead author Jane D. McLeod, a sociology professor and an associate dean at Indiana University. "Certainly, there are depressed youths who have trouble in school, but it's likely because they are also using substances, engaging in delinquent activities, or have attention issues."
Titled, "Adolescent Mental Health, Behavior Problems, and Academic Achievement," McLeod's study uses data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health), which followed thousands of U.S. adolescents from their middle and high school years through their transition to early adulthood. McLeod's analysis focuses on students who were in high school when Add Health began in 1994. To determine academic achievement, McLeod considered the high school GPAs of students after the first wave of Add Health in 1994 and the highest educational degrees they received by 2008-2009.
"There's a fairly sizable literature that links depression in high school to diminished academic achievement," said McLeod, who co-authored the study with Ryotaro Uemura, a project assistant professor in the International Center at Keio University in Japan, and Shawna Rohrman, a doctoral candidate in sociology at Indiana University. "The argument we make in our study is what's really happening is that youths who are depressed also have other problems as well, and it's those other problems that are adversely affecting their achievement."
Unlike students who experienced depression, the study found that adolescents who experienced attention issues, delinquency, or substance use had lower average GPAs than youths without any such problems. Similarly, delinquency and substance use were associated with receiving lesser degrees while depression was not. Adolescents who experienced two problems typically earned lower GPAs and lesser degrees than those who experienced only one problem, although some combinations of problems had more harmful effects than others. For example, substance use increased the educational risks associated with depression, attention issues, and delinquency. In contrast, experiencing depression in combination with attention issues, delinquency, or substance use was not linked to GPAs or levels of educational attainment lower than those of students who had any of these problems alone. Interestingly, attention issues were not associated with lower levels of educational attainment whereas they were related to lower GPAs.
"It could be that attention issues adversely affect high school GPA, but not level of educational attainment because success in college and graduate school may be less closely tied to behavior and interactions within the classroom than it is in high school," McLeod said. "For example, if you're in a large college classroom and you're someone who needs to be bouncing your knees or tapping your pen, that's not going to come to the notice of the instructor in the same way that it might in a smaller high school classroom."
The analysis controlled for academic aptitude, meaning the researchers took into account whether the youths in the study had the ability to do well in school. "What we found is that there are adolescents who have the ability to succeed, but who are not succeeding in school because of their troubling behavior—attention issues, delinquency, substance use or a combination," McLeod said. "This suggests to me that schools should reconsider the approach they take to dealing with these students. Perhaps, they should think about moving away from punitive approaches towards approaches aimed at integrating these students into the school community."
The research article described above is available by request for members of the media. For a copy of the full study, contact Daniel Fowler, ASA's Media Relations and Public Affairs Officer.
For more information about the study, members of the media can also contact Tracy James, Indiana University Communications, at 812-855-0084 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Daniel Fowler | EurekAlert!
Europe’s Demographic Future. Where the Regions Are Heading after a Decade of Crises
10.08.2017 | Berlin-Institut für Bevölkerung und Entwicklung
Scientists reveal source of human heartbeat in 3-D
07.08.2017 | University of Manchester
Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.
As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...
Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...
For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...
An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...
A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...
16.08.2017 | Event News
04.08.2017 | Event News
26.07.2017 | Event News
23.08.2017 | Life Sciences
23.08.2017 | Life Sciences
23.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy