alexa Learning Disabilities and Disruptive Behavior: Research of Observing Students in Primary School

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International Journal of School and Cognitive Psychology

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Learning Disabilities and Disruptive Behavior: Research of Observing Students in Primary School

Victoria Zakopoulou1*, Dimitrios Sarris2, Periklis Tagkas3, Evangelos Tsampalas4 and Maria Vergou5
1Department of Speech and Language Therapy, Technological Educational Institute of Epirus, Ioannina, Greece
2Department of Nursery Education, University of Ioannina, Greece
3Department of Business Administration, Technological Educational Institute of Epirus, Ioannina, Greece
4Elementary School Teacher, Nicosia, Cyprus
5Preschool teacher, Epirus, Greece
*Corresponding Author: Victoria Zakopoulou, Department of Speech and Language Therapy, Technological Educational Institute of Epirus, Ioannina, Greece, Tel: 0030-697-99-66-451, Email: [email protected]

Received Date: Aug 09, 2018 / Accepted Date: Aug 28, 2018 / Published Date: Sep 04, 2018


Learning disabilities are characterized by students’ weaknesses in reading, spelling, comprehension, written and spoken words, and social behavior. Commonly, learning disabilities are associated with problems in executive and extensive behavior, such as the anti-social and delinquent behavior. The purpose of this research is to investigate whether students of all grades of elementary school with learning disabilities belong to the category of “problem” children, children with offending behaviors, in and out of class. 21 students of all grades with learning difficulties were observed in the second half of the school year 2016-2017. Researchers separately observed target students in and out of class. Each observation lasted for 40 min. Each student was observed for a total of 4 teaching hours. The research highlighted an important relationship between learning disabilities and social behavior, stressing that the target learners were those who did not participate in the learning process, created class fuss, received comments from teachers, participated in all the problematic situations during of the breaks, often visited the Director’s office to impose the appropriate sanctions-penalties (within the framework of the regulations).

Keywords: Learning disabilities; Primary education; Delinquency; Disruptive behavior


Learning disabilities

In 1974, aiming to be studied the common framework of problems such as dyslexia, dysgraphia, aphasia, perception problems or problems with small brain dysfunction or even the problems of misconduct, the term “learning disabilities” was adopted [1].

The term of learning disabilities refers to several conditions that may affect the acquisition, organization, preservation, understanding or use of verbal or non-verbal information. They are due to lesions, one or more processes related to perception, thought, memorization or learning [2].

Learning disabilities may also be mild, moderate or severe, and students differ in skills to deal with these disabilities [3]. Some learn to adapt to learning disabilities so well that they “go unnoticed” while others are struggling for their whole life to do even “simple” things. In both cases, the occurrence of learning disabilities begins from childhood and is a lasting condition [4].

The most common types of learning disabilities are dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia, ADHD. These affect the fields of reading, mathematics and written expression [5]. Students with learning disabilities may: (a) have difficulty learning the alphabet, associating letters with their sounds, rhetoric words, understanding, spelling, organization-written and oral, and (b) are unable to express their ideas in writing, to write legibly, to distinguish homonymous words, to separate mathematical symbols and numbers, to complete a work, and follow social standards [6].

Similarly, it becomes important to highlight the difference between learning disabilities and school difficulties arising from other causes. Such may be an inadequate school management, the lack of welleducated and effective teachers in schools, the large number of students in classes, teaching in another language than the students’ mother tongue, and unfortunately, sometimes, negative behaviors among some teachers to children with difficulties, and their integration into mainstream schools as a result of teachers’ tradition and culture [7].

Juvenile delinquency

“In the field of crime and delinquency, there is a serious and widespread problem (which is particularly acute in some of the more developed countries): juvenile delinquency. The various agencies, which the experts hoped would be effective in preventing juvenile delinquency, failed to do so. The issue of subjective causes needs to be reviewed from a broad perspective and new methods developed to address these causes “(United Nations Report, Five-Year Perspective, 1960-1964) [8]. There are two different types of offenses committed by minors, delinquent antisocial behavior and offenses [9]. Including offenses means that acts committed by adults could lead to criminal prosecution [10].

At this point, three impressive features of today’s juvenile delinquency should be taken into account:

I. Juvenile delinquency is primarily a phenomenon of male groups.

II. Family members and long-term unemployment, ethnic conflicts and psychosocial problems accumulate, mainly in urban centers with large populations, leading to social disorganization, promoting model and dangerous behavior and encouraging the search for opponents.

III. The effects of this disorganization, among others, are group formations, which are boosted by the devastating effect. Alcohol and drugs reinforce this action [11].

Learning disabilities and juvenile delinquency

Although there are similarities between learning and juvenile delinquency [12], no definitions are conceptually clear. What is imperative to be determined is the relationship between learning disabilities and delinquent behavior [1]. Surveys [13] have shown that about 2 million minors captured in the United States, the largest percentage were found to have learning disabilities. A study by the US Treasury Department [14] found that almost 100% of 129 randomly selected offenders from various prisons in the country had learning disabilities.

Establishing the relationship between juvenile delinquency and learning disabilities is an issue that disrupts researchers, criminologists and others concerned about the cause of the rise of juvenile delinquency in the United States [1]. Many scholars have examined the possible relationship between learning disabilities and juvenile delinquency [14-16], but there are still questions about the nature of the relationship. Most theories describing the causes of juvenile delinquency focus on many biological, psychological and sociological variables or variables that include race, gender, and social class. However, they overlook individual features such as learning difficulties [17].

People with learning disabilities are often victims of low-level delinquency. Although this frequency does not have a high priority for the legal process, however, offenses of this level can cause significant anxiety and be the precursors of more serious offenses [18]. Quite worrying is the fact that one in two young adults with learning disabilities said they was involved with criminal justice in their early years since graduating. One in three said he was arrested for this.

According to White et al. [19], juvenile offenders and students with learning disabilities have many common features: poor academic progress, impulse control and lack of motivation. Smith [20] complements: the negative idea for themselves, weak social skills and school failure, that leads to social rejection [21], which, in turn, under “proper” social and environmental motives, leads students to delinquent behavior [22].

Besides the learning disabilities, important role is played by the school’s policy. Strict penalties, miscarriages and even suspension of attendance are associated with increased offending behavior [23]. Something that Polk [24] pointed out: schools by themselves cultivate juvenile delinquency simply by denying children their basic constitutional rights such as freedom of uniqueness and freedom of expression. When children are accused of something they do, basic procedural rights such as “innocent until proven proof” are nonexistent. Obviously, Polk believes that this situation evokes children to develop a sense of injustice and a sense of weakness.

Even in cases of criminal offenses, children with learning disabilities face particular problems, such as the understanding of the litigation. The large number of children who come to justice are vulnerable because of their not only young age or immaturity, but mainly because of their mental health, emotional problems, learning disabilities and difficulty in communication [25].


Based on the a fore mentioned theoretical principles, the main objectives of the designed research were targeted to investigate the occurrence of:

i. Possible types of relationship between learning disabilities and delinquency in primary education.

ii. Particular forms of offense within the classroom.

iii. Counterfeit behavior of teachers and school management.

Materials and Methods

Twenty four (24) students with learning disabilities were observed while their behavior was recorded, during the school year 2015-2016. All participated students were diagnosed with Learning Disabilities (LD). The researchers did not apply the diagnosis of the students, but they had already been diagnosed either by private speech therapists, child psychologists or by the special education teacher working in the school unit.

More specifically, the students were observed as follows:

1st grade: 5 children with LD (4 boys and 1 girl)

2nd grade: 4 children with LD (boys)

3rd grade: 2 children with LD (boys)

4th grade: 7 children with LD (6 boys and 1 girl)

5th grade: 1 boy with LD

6th grade (first part): two children with LD (1 boy and 1 girl) and finally

6th grade (second part): 3 children with LD (2 boys and 1 girl).

The school in which the study was conducted is located in a small town. It has 12 classrooms, one Art Hall, one Science and Design and Technology Hall (used for both these subjects), one Music Hall and one Computer Room. All classes are equipped with a computer and a projector. Three classes also have an interactive table (A, F1 and F2 classes).

The school staff is composed by: The Director, 8 teachers (6 teachers and 2 assistant directors), 2 visiting teachers (the Music Teacher comes two days a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays and the Art Teacher 3 days a week, Monday, Wednesday and three persons works as secretarial staffs, 4 as cleaners and a person in charge of the canteen. All the training staff is experienced, with over 12 years of service and the climate between them very good.

With the aim of keeping the anonymity of the students, their names are not mentioned but are coded by numbers. For the purposes of the survey, the students are characterized as follows:

a. With the letter “S” the student

b. With the letter “M” the male gender

c. With the letter “F” the female gender

d. With the letter “T” the teacher

For example, the first student will be referred to as SM1, the second as SM2 and so on. In order to distinguish their class in front, they will have the letter of order. For example, the first student in the first grade will be listed as A-SM1, the first student of the second as B-SM1 and so on.

First grade

There are 15 children, 6 boys and 9 girls and are placed in rows. The responsible teacher has 12 years of service, she is 35 years old and has a great experience in small classes (in an informal interview she told us she worked in the first grade of 10 of the 12 years of service). In the first grade SM3 and SM9 were diagnosed with LD. They were brothers but SM9 repeated the class. Their mother was from the Philippines and their father was of Greek descent.

SM9 repeated class because he began to study in the middle of last year when they came from the Philippines where they lived. Staying in the same class was done with the consent of parents and school counsellors. His speech was done difficult to understand because it was unusual. He did not have the mechanism of reading and his vocabulary it was too poor. His letters were relatively good, and he could copy correctly. But when he wrote on his own, he forgets words, syllables and even words.

SM3 was the youngest student in the classroom. He was about in the same learning situation as his brother. He was a little better in reading and writes more readily. His speech it was just as poor. During the observation, SM3 was nearly standing up throughout the course and bothered the rest. He spoke without getting permission. He rarely dealt with the work that the teacher had put him on. He did not participate at all when he had to work on his own and deal with other things or he was looking around him. At the same time, he cried the teacher to help him because he “did not know what to do”. When the teacher was late to go up he got up and went to his brother to talk to him (Table 1).

1st Grade Observation
SM9 Behavior Sampling SM3 Behavior Sampling
Teacher: E. S Teacher: E. S Teacher: E. S Teacher: E. S
Lesson: Math Lesson: Language Lesson: Language Lesson: Geography
1st Observation 2nd Observation 1st Observation 2nd Observation
Time Behavior Time Behavior Time Behavior Time Behavior
8:20 4 9:29 5 10:07 2 7:45 3
8:24 4 9:33 5 10:11 3 7:49 3
8:28 4 9:37 4 10:15 2 7:53 2
8:32 4-5 9:41 4 10:19 4 7:57 3
8:36 4-5 9:45 5 10:23 3 8:01 3
8:40 4 9:49 4 10:27 4 8:05 5
8:44 5 9:53 5 10:31 2 8:09 2
8:48 4-5 9:57 5 10:35 2 8:13 3
8:52 5 10:01 4 10:39 3 8:17 4
8:56 4 10:05 5 10:43 5 8:21 5

Notes:1=At task, 2=Stalling, 3=Schoolwork other than requested, 4=Out of seat, 5=Talking to others

Table 1: The 1st Grade observation.

Second grade

There are 24 students, the largest, in the number of students, the school class with 11 boys and 13 girls. The responsible teacher is 37 years old with 14 years of service, almost all in small classes (Table 2).

3rd Grade Observation
SM3 Behavior Sampling SM4 Behavior Sampling
Teacher: A. E Teacher: A. E Teacher: A. E Teacher: S. N
Lesson: Math Lesson: Language Lesson: Language Lesson: Geography
1st Observation 2nd Observation 1st Observation 2nd Observation
Time Behavior Time Behavior Time Behavior Time Behavior
7:45 1 9:29 1 10:07 1 12:25 1
7:49 1 9:33 2 10:11 1 12:29 1
7:53 1 9:37 1 10:15 1 12:33 1
7:57 2 9:41 2 10:19 2 12:37 1
8:01 1 9:45 1 10:23 2 12:41 1
8:05 2 9:49 1 10:27 1 12:45 1
8:09 1 9:53 1 10:31 1 12:49 1
8:13 2 9:57 1 10:35 1 12:53 1
8:17 2 10:01 2 10:39 1 12:57 1
8:21 1 10:05 1 10:43 2 13:01 1

Notes: 1=At task, 2=Stalling, 3=Schoolwork other than requested, 4=Out of seat, 5=Talking to others

Table 2: The 3rd Grade observation.

Students diagnosed with LD were SM1, SM5, SM9, and SF16. SM1 had evidence of dyslexia, but without diagnosis, because parents were negative. They believed that he was immature. During the investigation, he was constantly standing up, leaving his post and talking to others. He received 4 times observation and 3 times the teacher was ironic. Only once asked for help (Figures 1 and 2).


Figure 1: The 2nd Grade 1st observation.


Figure 2: The 2nd Grade 2nd observation.

SM5 was a foreign pupil, he partially knew the Greek language, has only two years in Greece. He was constantly rising from his position and asking for help from the teacher, but without getting permission (Figures 1 and 2).

SM7 was a child with very poor vocabulary, illegible writing and difficulty in spelling. It does not even distinguish the letters and confuses their sounds (f-v, t-δ, δ-ψ-ξ). He disturbed his next classmate, looked out of the window and got up from his position (Figures 1 and 2). SM9 was a student with various dyslexic characteristics without diagnosis. He received support 2 times per week for 2 academic periods from the school’s special educator. During the observation he was dealing with other things and was getting out of position without permission. In fact, during the first day, at 10:41, a break came before a bell rang (Figures 1 and 2).

SF16 was a student diagnosed with LD. He was unable to distinguish most of the letters from their sound while he met a lot of difficulties in completing his exercises. As a result, he relinquished what he was doing, looking around, without seeking for help (Figures 1 and 2).

Third grade

There are 23 students, 12 boys and 11 girls. The responsible teacher is 43 years old with 18 years of service. In an informal interview, he told the researchers that this class was not a choice but a decision by the school’s management with his own consent, since there was no alternative (Table 3).

4th Grade Observation
SM1 SM3 SM5 SM6 SM8 SM9 SM11
Observation Observation Observation Observation Observation Observation Observation
1st 2nd 1st 2nd 1st 2nd 1st 2nd 1st 2nd 1st 2nd 1st 2nd
S. S
S. N
8:25 3 7:45 4 9:25 4 10:05 4 7:49 3 9:30 3 10:05 3 7:47 5 8:26 3 7:45 3 9:25 4 7:45 4 8:25 1 10:05 1
8:29 3 7:49 3 9:29 4 10:09 4 7:53 3 9:34 3 10:09 3 7:51 5 8:30 3 7:49 3 9:29 4 7:49 4 8:29 1 10:09 1
8:33 4 7:53 3 9:33 4 10:13 4 7:57 3 9:39 5 10:13 5 7:55 3 8:34 3 7:53 3 9:33 4 7:53 4 8:33 1 10:13 1
8:37 3 7:57 3 9:37 4 10:17 5 8:01 3 9:43 3 10:17 3 7:59 4 8:38 3 7:57 3 9:37 4 7:57 4 8:37 1 10:17 1
8:41 4 8:01 4 9:41 4 10:21 5 8:05 3 9:47 3 10:21 4 8:03 3 8:42 3 8:01 3 9:41 4 8:01 4 8:41 1 10:21 1
8:45 3 8:05 3 9:45 4 10:25 4 8:09 5 9:51 3 10:25 3 8:07 3 8:46 3 8:05 2 9:45 4 8:05 4 8:45 1 10:25 1
8:49 5 8:09 5 9:49 4 10:29 5 8:13 3 9:55 3 10:29 3 8:11 3 8:50 3 8:09 3 9:49 4 8:09 5 8:49 2 10:29 1
8:53 4 8:13 3 9:53 5 10:33 4 8:17 5 9:59 3 10:33 4 8:15 5 8:54 3 8:13 3 9:53 5 8:13 4 8:53 1 10:33 1
8:57 4 8:17 4 9:57 5 10:37 5 8:21 3 10:03 3 10:37 5 8:19 4 8:59 3 8:17 3 9:57 5 8:17 4 8:57 1 10:37 1
9:01 5 8:21 3 10:01 4 10:41 4 8:25 5 10:07 3 10:41 3 8:23 4 9:03 3 8:21 2 10:01 4 8:21 4 9:01 2 10:41 1

Notes: 1=At task, 2=Stalling, 3=Schoolwork other than requested, 4=Out of seat, 5=Talking to others

Table 3: The 4th Grade observation.

Students diagnosed with LD were SM3 and SM4. SM3 faced serious spelling problems while his reading was spelled. He was writing without punctuation and tones. He was particularly interested in technical courses. During the observation he worked in his place and, whenever he needed help, he raised his hand and said it to his teacher. In mathematics he had not consolidated the tables of multiplication while having difficulty in acting. Instead, he was sitting in his place trying to participate in the lesson.

SM4 was diagnosed with dyslexia. Twice a week he leaved the classroom and went to special education, while another two times attended speech therapy. His letters were unreadable, he joined words and forgot letters with slow rhyme of reading. However, he had a lot of general knowledge, trying very hard and being willing to do the tasks assigned to him by the teacher. Parents did not accept reduced homework, but also, they totally supported him in the afternoons, and whenever necessary, he went to a specialist for further help (Table 4).

5th Grade Observation
SM4 Behavior Sampling
1st Observation 2nd Observation
Teacher: X. F Teacher: X. F
Lesson: Language Lesson: Math
4/3/2016 11/3/2016
Time Behavior Time Behavior
7:45 1 9:25 1
7:49 1 9:29 1
7:53 1 9:33 2
7:57 1 9:37 1
8:01 1 9:41 2
8:05 1 9:45 1
8:09 2 9:49 1
8:13 2 9:53 1
8:17 1 9:57 2
8:21 1 10:01 1

Notes: 1=At task, 2=Stalling, 3=Schoolwork other than requested, 4=Out of seat, 5=Talking to others

Table 4: The 5th  Grade observation.

Fourth grade

There are 19 students, 13 boys and 6 girls. The responsible teacher is 42 years old with 16 years of school experience. This teacher has to deal with the largest number of students with learning disabilities (7 students). In a personal interview, he told the researchers that he undertook the class, although it was considered the most difficult one, for two reasons:

(a) Director considered him the most ideal for this class because he was the responsible teacher of that class the year before,

(b) Many parents approached him to take up the class again, believing he was doing a great job.

There were 7 students diagnosed with LD: SM1, SM3, SM5, SM6, SM8, SM9 and SM11. SM1 was a child of a troubled family. The father was missing continuously, and his mother took all the responsibility. He has two other brothers, younger. He was considered a child with many abilities but neglected. He faced difficulties both in language and mathematics. He used poor vocabulary and never completes his work. Although, her spoken word was good, the reading was disproportionate to her age, with many misspellings. Similarly, he had difficulties in multiplying and dividing operations as well as solving problems. During the observation she was dealing with things other than what she had to do. He stood up from his position and spoke to other classmates (Table 3).

SM3 was a student diagnosed with ADHD. His father refused to take his son’s medication while his mother has a contrary view. During the second period, SM3 was in crisis. He began to beat the teacher, shouting and crying from his nerves and using ugly vocabulary. Despite any attempts by the teachers to calm him, this was impossible. He threatened to leave school and fly stones. The situation was out of control. In the question of the researcher: “Why this behavior?” the responsible teacher’s answer was disarming: “his father did not give him the pill”. The condition calmed down after 45 min and after his mother came and gave him the medication. The student, after having calmed down, instructed the manager to leave the school. The researchers after the event decided to leave and come the next week. After a week the researchers went back to the 4th grade and SM3 was present. He was anxious and stood most of the time upright. He spoke continuously and did not care about the lesson. He moved around the class. The little time he was seated was looking around.

SM5 was a student with diagnosis of dyslexia. 3 times a week he was attending special education and 2 times speech therapy. He sits in his place but deals with things that are irrelevant to the lesson. Whenever the teacher turned to write on blackboard, he talked to others. SM6 was illiterate. He cannot respond to any written work, although his or her speech is good enough. Throughout the course they did not work with schoolwork nor did they watch the teacher. Whenever he was given an opportunity, he was talking to SM5. It is important to stress that when the researcher asked the teacher: “Why are all students with learning disabilities sitting together?” the teacher replied, “So I watch them all together because I have them in front of me. Last year that I had asked them to sit down with their classmates, they were bothering them all the time”.

SM8 came from Russia. He faced disabilities mainly in writing with many misspellings. His writing hardly makes any sense. It is very often absent from school without excuse. SM9 had particular writing problems. He was writing with no punctuation marks, no tones, no paragraphs, no words and confusing letters. He did not sit in his place speaking continuously with his friends (Table 5).

6th Grade Observation (1st Segment)
SM6 Behavior Sampling SF5 Behavior Sampling
Teacher: E. T Teacher: E. T Teacher: E. T Teacher: E. T
Lesson: Math Lesson: Language Lesson: Language Lesson: Geography
1st Observation 2nd Observation 1st Observation 2nd Observation
Time Behavior Time Behavior Time Behavior Time Behavior
8:20 3 9:29 3 10:07 2 7:45 4
8:24 4 9:33 5 10:11 3 7:49 3
8:28 4 9:37 4 10:15 5 7:53 4
8:32  5 9:41 3 10:19 4 7:57 3
8:36 4 9:45 5 10:23 4 8:01 5
8:40 4 9:49 4 10:27 4 8:05 5
8:44 5 9:53 3 10:31 2 8:09 4
8:48 5 9:57 5 10:35 3 8:13 3
8:52 5 10:01 4 10:39 5 8:17 4
8:56 4 10:05 5 10:43 5 8:21 5

Notes: 1=At task, 2=Stalling, 3=Schoolwork other than requested, 4=Out of seat, 5=Talking to others

Table 5: The 6th Grade observation (1st segment).

Fifth grade

There are 11 students, the class with the lowest number of students, 6 boys and 5 girls. Responsible teacher is the Assistant Manager, 48 years old and 26 years of experience.

SM4 was the only student diagnosed with LD. His writing was illegible with many misspellings. His spoken word was good but poor. He used words of the local dialect. During the observation, he sat in his place and did his work. Because of the small number of students, he has been constantly supported by his teacher (Table 4).

Sixth grade

Is the only class of the school with two equal parts of 14 students: 6 boys and 8 girls attend ST1, while 7 boys and 7 girls attend ST2. The responsible instructor of the ST1 is 50 years old with 24 years of service. Like the teacher of the fourth grade, he also has the same class for the second consecutive year. In St2 the responsible teacher is 46 years old with 20 years of school experience. The researchers observed each student twice.

The visits had previously been settled with the class teachers in charge after permission given by the General Director for Primary Education. The researchers observed the behavior of students in class as well as outside class. They were introduced as envoys from the university to attend the teaching approach and the teachers’ methods. Every observation in the class lasted a teaching period (40 min) while observing the break for 20 min. If a student was absent, the researchers should leave and return the next day.

The Director and all the involved teachers gave an informal interview to the researchers, through which they formulated a clear picture of the students’ profile (learning disabilities, family background, financial situation, etc.), the assistance offered to themes well as the planned penalties which, when necessary, were enforced. The personal reprimand, public reprimand, admission to the management office, parenting information and non-participation in activities are some of these penalties.

The 6th grade, as mentioned above, was the only grade with two segments (St1 and St2). In St1 the observable students were SM6 and SF5. SM6 was a student with diagnosis of dyslexia. Unfortunately, the diagnosis became too late; just last year. Twice a week, he was attending special education and once, speech therapy. He writes illegibly and rarely completes his work. Usually this happens when the teacher was sitting next to him. Most of the time he used to talk to others and stand out from his position. There was a younger in the lesson.

SF6 was unable to follow directions. The teacher repeated the instructions 2 and 3 times to understand it. She writes completely misplaced and meaningless. He goes, like SM6, twice special education and speech therapy. But the biggest problems she faced in mathematics. She did not know the multiplication tables and only acted with onedigit numbers. The special educator, who watched her, thinks she has a dither. She is a sister of SM3, of the fourth grade.

She usually spoke without permission and stood up from her position. Whenever she found it difficult to overdo it and deals with other things (Table 5). In ST2 the observable students were SM1, SM14 and SF10. SM1 had poor vocabulary, writing misspelled, without using punctuation, and with difficulties in reading an unknown handwriting. During the lesson he used to stop his job and talk to others.

SM14 had difficulty in comprehending texts and giving complete answers. Reading was tedious and very slow. He used to deal with something else and talk to others. SF10 was a new schoolgirl. She came from Ukraine but lives 4 years in the country. The spoken and written speech was poor, facing difficulty in drafting and reading. In the lesson she hardly participated. She received help twice from her teacher in the context of non-English students (Figures 3 and 4).


Figure 3: The 6th Grade 1st observation (2nd segment).


Figure 4: The 6th Grade 2nd observation (2nd segment).


The general finding emerged from the present study is that students with learning disabilities, both in and out of class, tended to be delinquent. A behavior that “violates” the basic rules of class and school functioning. With 79% of students speaking without permission in the classroom with their classmates, they got out of position or indifferent to being in the classroom.

Boys (89%) are more involved than girls (50%). One of the main findings of this research was that students with learning disabilities, in the breaks, functioned as a group. Each class had a box with various games inside and soccer balls, basketball, volleyball, etc. Children can enjoy their breaks with them. Students with learning difficulties did not participate in these games and played separately. Whenever, after teachers’ suggestions, they were involved in a game, a problem arose.

Additionally, an important finding is the school’s inability to cope drastically with such behaviors. Penalties in the school’s operating rules were not deterrent. When a child violates one of the Code of Conduct rules, the teacher, after exhausting all persuasive means, may use disciplinary measures and sanctions, depending on the impact of the child’s behavior. The disciplinary measures are:

(i) Observation

(ii) Rebuke, which may be particularly or in front of his guardian:

Provided that, in cases where despite the above measures the child continues to violate a rule or rules of the code of good behavior, he is referred to the school administration.

Where, despite taking the above measures, the child continues to exhibit the same behavior, the teaching staff shall undertake the examination of the case. The Teaching Association, depending on the findings of the examination and the seriousness of the case, may use the following disciplinary measures:

(i) Compensation for material damage,

(ii) Compulsory social labor supply within the school in the context of ordinary activities which children take,

(iii) Deprivation of participation in school events; sports within the school as well as other in-school activities for a single period of one to thirty consecutive days within the same school year [26].

The attitudes of the students of the sixth grade clearly show their impulsiveness and the tendency to externalize emotions. Their irritability leads them to delinquency [27]. Visser et al. [6] found that between cognitive versatility and extrinsic behavior an association was found but only when assessment scales were used to measure cognitive flexibility. By cognitive flexibility is meant the ability of individuals to change the structure of knowledge in a variety of ways to adapt to the changing demands of the situations in which they are located [28].

In addition, their honesty was disturbing. They confessed their act to the teachers or the Director believing they were not doing anything wrong. An attitude that justifies the view that defendants with learning disabilities do not understand the judicial process, confessing their illegality and causing embarrassment in court rooms [25].

Certainly, there is out of the scope of this survey the finding to be considered as indicators of a causal relationship between learning disabilities and offending behavior. However, the current findings clearly illustrate the tendency towards the kind of behavior of students with learning disabilities in particular school circumstances: difficulties related to academic performance are reflected as students’ failures that potentially lead to frustration. Disappointed students become aggressive, vulnerable, stigmatized and grouped with other students who have inappropriate behavior [27-29].

The UK Department of Health [30] notes that people with mild to moderate learning disabilities are more likely to find themselves in the channels of justice because they believe that people with severe learning disabilities are monitored by social services, receive regular support and are therefore less dangerous to engage with the judiciary. An indication that contrasts with the sample of this research that, despite any learning disabilities, mild or serious, their support is provided by special educators, within school, but in a minimum of time and in the power-ability of the individual teacher.


This study found that most children with learning disabilities are unable to follow and adhere to the rules governing school. Within and outside the class, they act and behave in such a way as to prevent obstacles to the learning process, hamper the work of teachers, and trouble the school community and all those involved. The British Columbia Ministry of Education has, in recent years, promoted and sought to create, in each school unit, the Committee on Health Education and Crime Prevention. This committee consists of the responsible Assistant Director and representative of the Teaching Association, the Parents’ Association, the Community Authority and the students. The aim of this committee is nothing other than the development of a positive school climate. However, for such a very important program to be successful, there should be trained teaching staff who can take on conflict management by applying mediation techniques. In this school, with the large number of students with learning disabilities and at the same time with offending behavior, the staff is working properly in this direction. The avoidance of penalties on a daily basis, the dialogue with the particular students, the individual help and the support they offer are elements that lead to better results.


Citation: Zakopoulou V, Sarris D, Tagkas P, Tsampalas E, Vergou M (2018) Learning Disabilities and Disruptive Behavior: Research of Observing Students in Primary School. Int J Sch Cogn Psychol 5: 212. DOI: 10.4172/2469-9837.1000212

Copyright: © 2018 Zakopoulou V. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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