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Learning and motor and mental health profiles in pupils with Borderline Intellectual Functioning and Average Intellectual Functioning


There is a lack of research addressing the study of the Borderline Intellectual Functioning (BIF) in school-aged population. In children and adolescents with BIF high rates of school complaints, movement impairments and mental health disorders have been demonstrated. This study aims at comparing learning, motor and mental health profiles showed by pupils with BIF and pupils with Average Intellectual Functioning (AIF). Participants were 19 children with BIF and 19 with AIF. Learning, motor and mental health profiles were measured by multiple tests. Results show that pupils with BIF showed lower comprehension and decoding reading abilities, lower word and non-word reading as well as lower mathematical abilities. Moreover impaired locomotion and object control skills and lower quotient of gross-motor ability were found in this group. BIF pupils showed lower self-esteem and higher rates of anxiety and depressed mood than typically developing children. On the whole, these findings document the high risk of co-occurrence among BIF, poor school performance, motor diseases and mental health impairment. Multifaceted educational and clinical interventions are needed to reduce or limit the risk of comorbidity in this population from school-age as well as to prevent negative evolution and improve cognitive and social functioning.