Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Behavior problems, not depression, linked to lower grades for depressed youths

Date:
November 29, 2012
Source:
American Sociological Association (ASA)
Summary:
Behavior problems, not depression, are linked to lower grades for depressed adolescents, according to a new study.

Behavior problems, not depression, are linked to lower grades for depressed adolescents, according to a study in the December issue of the Journal of Health and Social Behavior.

Related Articles


"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."

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."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Sociological Association (ASA). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. J. D. McLeod, R. Uemura, S. Rohrman. Adolescent Mental Health, Behavior Problems, and Academic Achievement. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 2012; 53 (4): 482 DOI: 10.1177/0022146512462888

Cite This Page:

American Sociological Association (ASA). "Behavior problems, not depression, linked to lower grades for depressed youths." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 November 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121129093006.htm>.
American Sociological Association (ASA). (2012, November 29). Behavior problems, not depression, linked to lower grades for depressed youths. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121129093006.htm
American Sociological Association (ASA). "Behavior problems, not depression, linked to lower grades for depressed youths." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121129093006.htm (accessed November 1, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Melafind: Spotting Melanoma Without a Biopsy

Melafind: Spotting Melanoma Without a Biopsy

Ivanhoe (Oct. 31, 2014) The MelaFind device is a pain-free way to check suspicious moles for melanoma, without the need for a biopsy. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Battling Multiple Myeloma

Battling Multiple Myeloma

Ivanhoe (Oct. 31, 2014) The answer isn’t always found in new drugs – repurposing an ‘old’ drug that could mean better multiple myeloma treatment, and hope. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Chronic Inflammation and Prostate Cancer

Chronic Inflammation and Prostate Cancer

Ivanhoe (Oct. 31, 2014) New information that is linking chronic inflammation in the prostate and prostate cancer, which may help doctors and patients prevent cancer in the future. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sickle Cell: Stopping Kids’ Silent Strokes

Sickle Cell: Stopping Kids’ Silent Strokes

Ivanhoe (Oct. 31, 2014) Blood transfusions are proving crucial to young sickle cell patients by helping prevent strokes, even when there is no outward sign of brain injury. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins