By On February 2nd, 2009

Teens who misbehave in school likely to have problems during adulthood…

According to findings from a study recently reported online in BMJ, teens who misbehave in school are more likely to have mental health problems, relationship problems, and work problems during their adult lives. According to the study, which was published by Ian Colman, Ph.D., of the University of Alberta, and colleagues, teacher-reported severe behaviors during adolescence more than doubled the risk of family, relationship, financial and mental health problems. Similarly, teenagers who were reported to have moderate behavioral problems had a significant increase (2.3 fold) in risk for failure to graduate and almost twice the global adversity scores in adulthood. The following is an excerpt of an article from Medpage Today that discusses the findings in more depth:

These findings add to the bleak picture of adult life for adolescents with conduct problems, the researchers said. Earlier studies have revealed similar problems through adulthood in clinical or high-risk samples from disadvantaged populations.

For a less potentially biased look at the long-term consequences of school behavior problems, the researchers analyzed findings from the Medical Research Council National Survey of Health and Development.

This survey originally included every child born in England, Scotland, or Wales during one week in 1946.

Among the 3,652 participants with behavior assessed at ages 13 and 15 by teachers, 9.5% had severe conduct problems based on scores above the 93rd percentile for disobedience, lying, restlessness, truancy, and lack of punctuality, attention in class, and response to discipline.

Another 28.8% had mild behavioral problems defined by scores between the 75th and 93rd percentiles on the same measures.

When the cohort was followed with repeat measures of mental health, social, and economic outcomes at ages 36, 43, and 53 in the national study, the researchers found the following:

* Greater risk of symptoms of depression and anxiety among those with severe behavior problems in adolescence compared with those who did not have conduct problems (adjusted odds ratio 1.3, 95% confidence interval 1.0 to 1.7).
* Higher likelihood of self-reported “nervous trouble” among those with both severe (adjusted OR 1.5, 95% CI 1.0 to 2.2) and mild behavior problems (adjusted OR 1.3, 95% CI 1.0 to 1.6).
* Increased risk of alcohol abuse in adulthood among those with mild behavior problems at school (adjusted OR 1.4, 95% CI 1.0 to 1.9).
* Greater likelihood of teen parenthood for those with conduct problems whether severe (adjusted OR 2.3, 95% CI 1.6 to 3.4) or mild (adjusted OR 2.4, 95% CI 1.3 to 4.4).

Click here to read the rest of this article from Medpage Today

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