Learning Behaviours, Attention and Anxiety in Caribbean Children: Beyond the 'Usual Suspects' in Explaining Academic Performance

Eric H. Durbrow, Barbara A. Schaefer, Shane R. Jimerson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Research suggests learning-related behaviours, anxiety and attention may influence academic performance. This research, however, has been limited to children from industrialized countries. Studies of children in developing countries have usually concentrated on children's cognitive abilities and home background. Contributions of learning behaviours, anxiety, attention problems, cognitive ability and home background to the academic performance of village children (N = 61; ages 6-12) on St Vincent, the West Indies, were investigated. Teachers provided academic scores and rated children using the Learning Behaviours Scale and using a modified version of the Revised Behaviour Problem Checklist. Children's cognitive ability was assessed using the Raven Colored Progressive Matrices and their academic skills were assessed using a locally standardized achievement test. Stimulating home experiences, caregiver involvement, affluence and caregiver education were assessed using the MC-HOME Inventory and by interviews. Hierarchical regression indicated that anxiety, attention and learning-related behaviours explain 32-35 percent of the variance in academic scores. In contrast, home background and cognitive ability account for only 11-14 percent and 6-22 percent respectively. Results suggest that academic performance may be improved in this population by reducing children's anxiety levels and promoting appropriate learning behaviours.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)242-251
Number of pages10
JournalSchool Psychology International
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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