ERIC Number: EJ822269
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Dec
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
Behaviour-Emotional Characteristics of Primary-School Children Rated as Having Language Problems
Lundervold, A. J.; Heimann, M.; Manger, T.
British Journal of Educational Psychology, v78 n4 p567-580 Dec 2008
Background: Primary-school teachers are expected to detect problems related to language function, but the teachers' evaluations may be heavily influenced by gender and classroom behaviour. Aim: To investigate the relationship between language problems (LPs) and behaviour-emotional problems as rated by primary-school teachers. Methods: All participants participated in a population-based study, the Bergen Child Study (BCS). Teachers of 9,072 children and parents of 6,234 children completed forms containing questions pertaining to language function and the strengths and difficulties questionnaire (SDQ) to screen for behaviour-emotional problems. LP was defined as a score above the 95th percentile on the sum score of five language items. Children achieving a total SDQ score above the 90th percentile were defined as high scorers, indicating a high risk for behavioural-emotional problems. Results: Based on teacher reports, 540 children were defined as having LP, more boys (N=366) than girls. Children defined as having LP were reported to have significantly higher scores on all SDQ subscales, and a higher total difficulty score than children without language problems (NLP). More LP boys than LP girls were defined as high scorers on the SDQ, with the highest effect size on the hyperactivity-inattention subscore. The agreement between teachers and parents was moderate to low, with the highest consensus of behaviour-emotional problems in children with LP. Conclusions: Primary-school children defined as having LP according to their teachers are frequently characterized by behavioural-emotional problems. Further assessment is warranted for primary-school children defined as having LP by their teachers.
Descriptors: Emotional Problems, Hyperactivity, Adolescents, Teachers, Gender Differences, Psychological Patterns, Primary Education, Parents, Language Processing, Behavior Problems, Learning Problems, Educational Psychology
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Primary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A