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Examples of Behavior Problems That Interfere With Learning

by Amy Morin, studioD

Behavior problems can affect a child's ability to learn and retain new information. Behavior problems at a young age can even predict future academic problems. Children who exhibit behavior problems at age 6 are more likely to struggle in math and reading at age 17, according to a study published in Pediatrics. Address behavior problems as early as possible to increase your child's chances of academic success.


Hyperactive children have difficulty staying seated, which makes it difficult to complete school work. Hyperactive children also tend to be forgetful, according to the Johns Hopkins Medicine website. Children who forget things repeatedly struggle to memorize information, making learning very difficult. Hyperactive children may have difficulty participating in quiet activities, such as reading or writing, because they often talk incessantly. Hyperactivity causes children to shift their attention from one activity to another quickly, which poses challenges to a child trying to complete an assignment or task.


Impulsive children may disrupt the entire classroom by blurting out answers without raising their hand. Children who answer homework and test questions by writing down the first answer that comes to mind, may score poorly on their assignments. Impulsive children struggle to think ahead, plan and problem-solve effectively, according to Michelle Anthony at Scholastic.com. These impulsive behaviors often interfere with learning and applying new concepts. Other impulsive behaviors, such as physical aggression or talking in class, may require disciplinary action that results in a child's removal from the classroom.


Inattention deters a child from being able to focus on a single task. Instead of paying attention to the teacher, a child with attention problems may be watching other children, playing with things in his desk or just staring out the window. At home, children with attention problems may take a long time to complete their homework or they may not have enough mental energy to complete their assignments. Attention problems can also interfere with organization. An inattentive child may forget his homework or lose his assignments.

Oppositional Behavior

Children with oppositional behavior argue with adults and refuse to follow rules. Oppositional children also struggle to take responsibility for their mistakes, according to the John Hopkins Medicine website. An oppositional child may refuse to attempt any of his work. He may also refuse refuse to participate in certain activities, such as group projects. At home, oppositional children may argue with parents about homework and may refuse to put any effort into completing assignments.

About the Author

Amy Morin has been writing about parenting, relationships, health and lifestyle issues since 2009. Her work appears in many print and online publications, including Mom.me and Global Post. Morin works as a clinical therapist and a college psychology instructor. Morin received her Master of Social Work from the University of New England.

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