Behavioural and Emotional Problems in Children and Educational Outcomes: A Dynamic Panel Data Analysis

  • Rasheda Khanam
  • Son Nghiem
Original Article


This study investigates the effects of behavioural and emotional problems in children on their educational outcomes using data from the Longitudinal Survey of Australian Children (LSAC). We contribute to the extant literature using a dynamic specification to test the hypothesis of knowledge accumulation. Further, we apply the system generalised method of moments (GMM) estimator to minimise biases due to unobserved factors. We find that mental disorders in children has a negative effect on the National Assessment Program—Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) test scores. Among all mental disorders, having emotional problems is found to be the most influential with one standard deviation (SD) increase in emotional problems being associated with 0.05 SD reduction in NAPLAN reading, writing and spelling; 0.04 SD reduction in matrix reasoning and grammar; and 0.03 SD reduction in NAPLAN numeracy.


Mental disorder Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) scores System GMM Human capital Education Children Australia 



We are grateful to Professor Hendrik Jürges and Dr David Rowel for their helpful feedback on the paper. We would like to thank Maisha Rahman and Hazel Jones for proofreading the paper. We are also grateful to the three anonymous referees and editor of the journal for their suggestions, which have greatly improved the paper.


The content of this paper does not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the affiliated Institutions of the authors. Responsibility for any information and views expressed in this Paper lies entirely with the author(s).


We have not received any fund from any source to conduct this research. This research is conducted as part of our job.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

There is no conflict of interest to declare.

Research Involving Animals

This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of CommerceUniversity of Southern QueenslandToowoombaAustralia
  2. 2.Institute of Health and Biomedical InnovationQueensland University of TechnologyKelvin GroveAustralia

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