• Rita Raudeliunaite Mykolas Romeris University
  • Vida Gudžinskienė Mykolas Romeris University




learning difficulties, primary school, pupils, unfavourable environmental factors


The objective of the study, which is presented in the article, is to identify learning difficulties of primary school pupils occurring due to unfavourable environmental factors on the basis of the experience of pedagogues. Problematic study question: What learning difficulties of pupils resulted in by unfavourable environmental factors do primary school teachers encounter?  Qualitative research type was chosen for the study. In the study, the method of a semi-structured interview was used. The study data were processed by using the method of content analysis. 12 pedagogues participated in the study.

The study findings revealed that primary school teachers encounter three different types of learning difficulties of pupils occurring due to unfavourable environmental factors: academic, social, behavioural and emotional.

Academic difficulties should be associated with a reduced interest of children in their environment, the lack of knowledge and experience, the lack of  curiosity and desire to learn something new,  a lower level of preparedness for school, attention retention problems, passivity when performing tasks, distrust/doubts regarding his/her abilities, fluctuation, regress or stagnation of a child's progress (learning achievements), reduced interest in learning and poor learning efforts when performing tasks, the lack of learning motivation, getting late to classes or missing them.

Social difficulties are associated to the lack of communication skills (contact establishment, politeness, attention when communicating with others, discipline, self-regulation, conflict resolution) and activity organisation and cooperation  skills (ability to prepare tools for a specific activity, consistency when performing tasks; the performance of tasks to the end; the self-evaluation of activity results; involvement in a group activity; to listen to and hear   what others say, consulting with others, permission to express their opinion give to others; ability to receive a different opinion and to express their opinion politely,   avoidance to downgrade others, offering assistance to others and assistance solicitation, if need be; uttering compliments). The study revealed that primary school teachers also encounter with various behavioural and emotional difficulties.




Bakker, J., Denessen, E., & Brus-Laeven, M. (2007). Socio-economic background, parental involvement and teacher perceptions of these in relation to pupil achievement. Educational Studies, 33, 177–192. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/03055690601068345

Berns, M. R. (2009). Vaiko socializacija. Šeima, mokykla, visuomenė. Vilnius: Poligrafija ir informatika.

Cicchetti, D., & Toth, S. L. (2015). Child Maltreatment. In M. E. Lamb, & R. M. Lerner (Ed), Handbook of Child Psychology and Developmental Science (513-563). New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons.

Creswell, J.W. (2009). Research design: Qualitative, Quantitative and mixed methods approaches. London: Sage.

Denham, S. A., Ji, P., & Hamre, B. (2010). Compendium of preschool through elementary school social-emotional learning and associated assessment measures. Chicago, IL: Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning and Social and Emotional Learning Research Group, University of Illinois at Chicago.

Gabalda, M. K., Thompson, M. P., & Kaslow, N. J. (2010). Risk and protective factors for psychological adjustment among low-income, African American children. Journal of Family Issues, 31(4), 423-444.

Garbarino, J. (2017). Children and Families in the Social Environment: Modern Applications of Social Work. New York: Routledge.

Grusec, J. E. (2011). Socialization Processes in the Family: Social and Emotional Development. Annual Review of Psychology, 62, 243-269.

Juodaitytė, A. (2002). Socializacija ir ugdymas vaikystėje. Vilnius: Petro ofsetas.

Liobikienė, N. (2009). Sisteminė pozityvios tėvystės raiškos ir ugdymo perspektyva. Socialinis darbas: patirtis ir metodai, 4(2), 108–110.

Merrell, K.W. & Gimpel, G.A. (2014). Social Skills of Children and Adolescents: Conceptualization, Assessment, Treatment. New York: Psychology Press.

Pinquart, M. (2017). Associations of parenting dimensions and styles with externalizing problems of children and adolescents: An updated meta-analysis. Developmental Psychology, 53(5), 873-932.

Samašonok, K. (2013). Globos namuose gyvenančių vaikų ir paauglių savarankiško gyvenimo įgūdžių ugdymas: pasiekimai, sunkumai, sprendimai. Pedagogika, 110, 103–114.

Smokowski, P. R., Mann, E. A., Reynolds, A. J., & Fraser, M. W. (2004). Childhood risk and protective factors and late adolescent adjustment in inner city minority youth. Children and Youth Services Review, 26(1), 63-91.

Whitney, S. D., Renner, L. M., & Herrenkohl, T. I. (2010). Gender differences in risk/protection profiles for low academic performance. Journal of Community Psychology, 38(4), 435-455.