Behavior problems at ages 6 and 11 and high school academic achievement: Longitudinal latent variable modeling

Naomi Breslau, Joshua Breslau, Elizabeth Miller, Tenko Raykov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Scopus citations


Previous studies documented long-run effects of behavior problems at the start of school on academic achievement. However, these studies did not examine whether the observed effects of early behavior problems are explained by more proximate behavior problems, given the tendency of children's behavior problems to persist. Latent variable modeling was applied to estimate the effects of behavior problems at ages 6 and 11 on academic achievement at age 17, using data from a longitudinal study (n = 823). Behavior problems at ages 6 and 11, each stage independently of the other, predicted lower math and reading test scores at age 17, controlling for intelligence quotient (IQ), birth weight, maternal characteristics, family and community environment, and taking into account behavior problems at age 17. Behavior problems at the start of school, independent of later behavior problems, exert lingering effects on achievement by impeding the acquisition of cognitive skills that are the foundation for later academic progress.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)433-437
Number of pages5
JournalPsychiatry Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 28 2011



  • Academic achievement
  • Early behavior problems
  • Latent variable longitudinal modeling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry

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