From Science Daily:

Children with attention problems in early childhood were 40 percent less likely to graduate from high school, says a new study from Duke University that examines how early childhood characteristics affect academic performance.

“There’s not a lot out there about how early attention problems affect academic outcomes over such a long time frame,” said David Rabiner, an associate dean of Duke’s Trinity College of Arts & Sciences and a faculty fellow of the Duke Center for Child and Family Policy. “This study is one of the first to focus on how attention problems as early as first grade relate to such an important educational outcome as high school graduation.”

The study, published in School Psychology Review, included 386 kindergarteners from schools in the Fast Track Project, a multi-site clinical trial in the U.S. that in 1991 began tracking how children developed across their lives.

With this study, researchers examined early academic, attention and socioemotional skills and how each contributed to academic success into young adulthood.

They found early attention skills were the most consistent predictor of academic success, but that likability also had a modest effect on academic performance.

By fifth grade, children with early attention difficulties had lower grades and reading achievement scores than their peers. As fifth-graders, children with early attention problems experienced average reading scores at least 3 percent lower than their contemporaries’ and grades at least 8 percent lower than those of their peers. This was after controlling for IQ, socioeconomic status and academic skills at…

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