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Objective: Children with reading difficulties face a number of challenges when entering school. Numerous studies have revealed greater behavioral and emotional problems in children with reading disorders. There is limited data on the challenges faced by young struggling readers in Thailand. This study aimed to investigate behavioral and emotional problems in grade one students, comparing between children with and those without reading problems.
Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted of 901 grade one children in Thailand. The parental version of the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) was completed by parents along with a questionnaire of demographic data. Homeroom teachers completed the SDQ, teacher version. Reading assessments were performed to determine which students had reading difficulty.
Results: Based on reading test scores, 131 students were considered to have reading difficulty. Students with reading difficulty were found to have significantly more behavioral and emotional problems in almost all aspects of the SDQ than children who were typical readers since they had just attended the formal education system. Overall, teachers reported five times as many problems in struggling readers, while parents reported twice as many.
Conclusion: Thai grade one students with reading difficulty appear to have significantly more emotional and behavioral problems than typical readers.
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