Posted by Neelam Goswami on January 11, 2009

New Yor, January 11:Children who misbehave at school are more likely to suffer mental health and social difficulties as they grow up, according to a new study published Friday in the British Medical Journal (BMJ).

Authors of the 40-year-study of Britons say in their research they have found that people who displayed behavioral problems as teenagers were more likely to be depressed, divorced or have financial problems.

To reach their findings, researchers from the University of Alberta looked at 3,652 British people, who were born in 1946. Researchers examined the health and social problems of these individuals, beginning from the age of 13 until they reached their 40s or 50s.

Based on the data from a national survey of health and development from the Medical Research Council, an organization in the United Kingdom, the study first assessed the volunteers at age 13 and 15, and then compared them with their peers with respect to a number of problematic behaviors, including disobedience, lying, lack of punctuality, restlessness, truancy, daydreaming in class and poor response to discipline..

Teachers then re-interviewed all the study subjects between the ages of 36 and 53, asking them about their mental health, and social and economic status.

The team of Canadian researchers found that those whose teachers described them as having behavioral problems decades earlier were more likely to have left school with no qualifications, and to suffer a number of social, financial and mental problems such as depressiondefine and anxiety, failed relationships, teenage pregnancy, and financial difficulties in adulthood.

A total of 9.5 percent of the teenagers were assessed by their teachers as having severe problems; 28.8 percent had mild problems; and 61.7 percent no problems.

"This research suggests that adolescent conduct problems are indicative of more serious problems in creating and maintaining positive social relationships, and this has a long-term effect on the young adult's ability to maintain good mental health, stable employment, and a happy family life," said Ian Colman, assistant professor at the University of Alberta's School of Public Health and lead author of the study.

Study authors believe their study provides a useful guide for focusing resources to help teenagers whose behavior could prove costly to the society as well as to themselves in adulthood.

They wrote: “Given the long-term costs to society, and the distressing impact on the adolescents themselves, our results might have considerable implications for public health policy.”

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