Inattention bigger trigger of educational failure in kids than hyperactivityPublished On: Mon, Aug 29th, 2011 | Children's Health | By BioNews
Inattention, rather than hyperactivity, is the most important indicator when it comes to finishing a high school education, according to a new research from the University of Montreal.
“Children with attention problems need preventative intervention early in their development,” explained lead author Dr. Jean-Baptiste Pingault, who is also affiliated with Sainte-Justine Mother and Child University Hospital.
The researchers came to their conclusion after looking at the data collected from the parents and teachers of 2000 children over a period of almost twenty years.
For the study, teachers evaluated the attention problems by looked at behaviour such as an inability to concentrate, absentmindedness, or a tendency to give up or be easily distracted.
The researchers found that only 29 pc of children with attention problems finished high school compared to 89 pc of children who did not manifest these inattention problems. When it came to hyperactivity, the difference was smaller: 40 pc versus 77 pc. After correcting the data for other influencing factors, such as socioeconomic status and health issues that are correlated with ADHD, inattention still made a highly significant contribution that was not the case for hyperactivity.
“In the school system, children who have attention difficulties are often forgotten because, unlike hyperactive kids, they don’t disturb the class,” said Dr. Sylvana Cote, who led the study.
“However, we know that we can train children to pay attention through appropriate activities, and that can help encourage success at school,” added Cote.
The results of the study have been published in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).