Introduction: Scholastic achievement is a key factor for personal and professional growth. Scholastic Backwardness affects child's education, achievements, self esteem, employment and marriage prospects
Aim: To estimate the prevalence and identify the co-morbidities and correlates for scholastic backwardness among school children.
Materials and Methods:We conducted a cross-sectional observational study among students in the age group of 5-15 years in an urban school of Jaipur (Rajasthan). Scholastically backward students without Intellectual Disability were evaluated in detail. Child Behavior Checklist was used for co-morbidities. Scholastically backward students were compared with scholastically superior students for evaluating the correlates.
Results:A total of 637 (N) students were considered for initial assessment (350 boys and 287 girls). 73 (n) children were diagnosed with Scholastic Backwardness (11.46%, n/N). The boys were 45 (12.85%) as compared to 28 (9.75%) girls. Specific Learning Disabilities were the commonest (16/73) followed by anxiety disorders and childhood depression. Determinants such as parental illiteracy, substance use problems in father, parental separation/divorce, parents having psychiatric disorders, low school attendance, not attending tuitions, presence of neurodevelopmental and psychiatric disorders and developmental delay were significantly associated with Scholastic Backwardness (p<0.05).
Conclusion:Scholastic backwardness is common in school going children. The causes are complex and multifactorial. Combination of family/social factors, personal factors, neuro-developmental factors and school related factors are responsible. It is possible to identify high risk children using these factors and intervene early.
Keywords:Scholastic backwardness, Children, Adolescents, Risk factors, Social influence