Verbal Cognitive Abilities and Emotional and Behavioral Problems of Secondary School Children

Article Title: Verbal Cognitive Abilities and Emotional and Behavioral Problems of Secondary School Children

Author(s): Tasnim Rehna & Rubina Hanif

Institute(s): National Institute of Psychology, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad – Pakistan

Journal: Foundation University Journal Of Psychology, 2017, Vol. 1, No. 2, 19-34

Correspondence Address: Dr. Rubina Hanif, Department of Psychology, Rawalpindi Campus. Pakistan. Email:


The present study was aimed at examining the role of verbal cognitive abilities in predicting emotional and behavioral problems among secondary school children. Sajjad Urdu Verbal Intelligence Test (Hussain, 2001) and School Children Problems Scale (Saleem & Mehmood, 2011) were administered on a sample of 300 (151 girls & 149 boys) secondary school children; aged 11-16 years (M =14.83, SD = 1.16) taken from model schools of Islamabad. Finding revealed that low level of verbal cognitive abilities showed greater levels of emotional and behavioral problems; particularly anxiousness, academic problems, and aggression were significantly higher among the students. All four types of verbal abilities (i.e., Word-Meaning, Verbal-Reasoning, Numerical-Abilities, and General-Knowledge) jointly accounted for up to 59% of variance in predicting emotional and behavioral problems. Gender differences were also significant indicating that girls demonstrated significantly greater degree of emotional problems (p<.001) than those of boys whereas boys elicited higher level of aggressive tendencies (p<.001) and all four types of verbal cognitive abilities (p<.001, .01) as compared to girls. No significant gender differences emerged on academic problems. Results have been discussed in the light of literature and cultural contexts.

Keywords. Verbal Cognitive Ability, Emotional and behavioral Problems, School Children

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