, Volume 33, Issue 2, pp 205-217

Severity of Emotional and Behavioral Problems Among Poor and Typical Readers

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The purpose of this study was to examine the severity of behavioral and emotional problems among adolescents with poor and typical single word reading ability (N = 188) recruited from public schools and followed for a median of 2.4 years. Youth and parents were repeatedly assessed to obtain information regarding the severity and course of symptoms (depression, anxiety, somatic complaints, aggression, delinquent behaviors, inattention), controlling for demographic variables and diagnosis of ADHD. After adjustment for demographic variables and ADHD, poor readers reported higher levels of depression, trait anxiety, and somatic complaints than typical readers, but there were no differences in reported self-reported delinquent or aggressive behaviors. Parent reports indicated no differences in depression, anxiety or aggression between the two groups but indicated more inattention, somatic complaints, and delinquent behaviors for the poor readers. School and health professionals should carefully assess youth with poor reading for behavioral and emotional symptoms and provide services when indicated.