Factors associated with academic backwardness in school children:a hospital based observational study

Poorva Gohiya, Jyotsna Shrivastav


Background: Academic backwardness is a problem with far reaching consequences. This study was undertaken with the aim of correlating IQ obtained through Weschlers intelligence scale for children with poor academic performance and also to ascertain various factors associated with academic backwardness.

Methods: All children in the age group 10 to 16 years brought with complaints of poor school performance were included in the study. They were evaluated with a thorough relevant history, physical examination audiometry, visual acuity and hematological parameters. IQ assessment was done using Wechsler Intelligence Score for Children (WISC) by clinical psychologist.

Results: 35.09% (n=20) children had subnormal IQs, the majority having normal IQ 63.91% (n=37). Behavioral disorders were the single largest group of associated factors followed by chronic medical illnesses, majority being epileptics on antiepileptic drugs. Among the various perinatal and postnatal factors, history of delayed development was significantly associated with subnormal IQ. There was no significant correlation of IQ test scores with marks scored in school examinations. r’= 0.195 was insignificant at 5% level. Majority of children performing poorly at school were not mentally subnormal. Behavioural disorders were present in children performing poorly at school.

Conclusions: Mental subnormality accounts for only a minority of children with academic backwardness. Behavioural disorders can either be the cause or effect of poor scholastic performance.


Academic backwardness, School children, IQs, Wechsler intelligence score, Mental subnormality

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