Ability-grouping and problem behavior trajectories in childhood and adolescence: Results from a U.K. population-based sample

31st January 2022 : 12:45 - 14:00

Category: Seminar

Research Group: Quantitative Methods Hub

Speaker: Dr. Steven Papachristou

Location: Online presentation in seminar room D, also available online

Convener: Lars-Erik Malmberg

Audience: Public

Online presentation in seminar room D, also available online.

Register here to watch remotely.


Dr. Steven Papachristou,

Department of Psychology and Human Development,

UCL Institute of Education, University College London (UCL).



Ability-grouping has been studied extensively in relation to children’s academic, but not emotional and behavioral outcomes. The sample comprised 7259 U.K. children (50% male) with data on between- class and within- class ability- grouping at age 7. Peer, emotional, hyperactivity, and conduct problems were measured at ages 7, 11, and 14 years. Children in low within- class ability groups showed more hyperactivity and emotional problems across the study period compared to non- grouped children, after adjustments for the different types of ability grouping and confounding. Additionally, children in the middle within- class ability groups showed more, and those in the top within- class groups less, hyperactivity compared to non- grouped children, after adjustment. Children in lower within- class groups should be monitored closely to ensure that their well- being is not compromised.

Read about it in the Guardian,


… and in Child Development (open access)