What are the Causes of underachievement in students?

Understanding Underachievement

“Underachieving students usually have personal issues that are affecting their achievements in school that they use as excuses for giving up on their potential or as justifications for their behaviours.”

― Asuni LadyZeal

There are many potential causes of underachievement in students. Many of which are personal issues that the student has that are potent enough to affect his achievement in school. In teaching and parenting underachieveing students, understanding the causes of underachievement can be helpful.

Many experts on underachievement like Dr. Sylvia B. Rimm,  call underachievement a syndrome meaning it is a condition associated with many behavioural patterns that cause the student to underachieve or perform below his ability. Underachievement is considered a pshycological defense to personal issues the student is facing.  One such personal issue student face that could cause behavioural patterns and cause the student to be defensive is learning difficulties. Students who struggle with learning difficulties that affect their ability to process and retain information may experience underachievement in school.

A student who lacks motivation to do well in school would struggle to complete assignments, perform to their full potential and meet parents of teachers’ expectations. One of the most common personal issues that cause underachievement is poor study habits. Students who do not have good study habits and skills or who do not spend enough time studying may struggle to perform well academically and may do poorly.

Personal issues like a poor home environment, low-socio-economic status, poverty, stress, anxiety, or depression also cause students to underachievement. In some instances, too, student may have issues with their school such as poor teaching, insensitive teachers or the wrong curriculum that may cause them to struggle to perform in line with their full potential

Understanding the causes of underachievement in students requires a deep sense of understanding of the needs and challenges of individual student because regarding underachievement and the causes of underachievement, no two students are the same.

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