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Durham University

Department of Anthropology


Publication details for Dr Adetayo Kasim

Merrell, C., Sayal, K., Tymms, P. & Kasim, A. (2017). A longitudinal study of the association between inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity and children's academic attainment at age 11. Learning and Individual Differences 53: 156-161.

Author(s) from Durham



The link between inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity and poor academic outcomes is well established. Children with mild difficulties can go unnoticed yet may be at risk of poor academic outcomes.


To investigate the link between a continuum of inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity at age five and academic attainment at age 11.


The sample comprised 46,369 children from 1812 English primary schools.


Reading and mathematics when starting school. Teachers rated behaviour at age five. English and mathematics were assessed at age 11.


A substantive negative direct relationship was found between the severity of inattentive behaviour at age 5 and attainment at age 11. Hyperactivity was not significant but impulsivity was weakly but positively associated with attainment. These relationships applied across the whole range of behaviour scores.


Investigation of the continuum of symptoms has important implications for the teachers; particularly for those children with mild inattention whose difficulties may go unnoticed.