Wales Journal of Education

Levels of Behavioural Difficulties among Young Welsh Schoolchildren

Authors: , , ,


This paper reviews the challenges faced by teachers and the levels of behavioural difficulties among children in early years classes in schools in north-west Wales. It also briefly describes the Incredible Years schoolbased programmes and the randomized controlled trial that provided the context for the data collection reported in this paper. Data, on 248 pupils in twelve reception classes, included the teacher rated Strengths and Difficulties questionnaire and the Teacher Stress Inventory. Pupils had a mean age 4.88 years (50.1% boys) with 12.5 per cent rated as having significant behavioural difficulties. Sub-scale scores on hyperactivity (23.85%) and deficits in social behaviour (22.6%) were the most prevalent. Boys were three times more likely to be rated within the problem range than girls. Teachers also reported moderate levels of stress in relation to the demands of a difficult class. The results suggest a sizeable increase in levels of problems since a 1982 survey in the same area, particularly in relation to hyperactivity.


How to Cite: Hutchings, J. , Williams, M. E. , University, P. M. & Pritchard, R. O. (2011) “Levels of Behavioural Difficulties among Young Welsh Schoolchildren”, Wales Journal of Education. 15(1).