The Association of Poor Academic Performance with Tic Disorders: A Longitudinal, Mainstream School-Based Population Study

Esther Cubo, Cristina Gonzalez, Vanesa Ausin, Vanesa Delgado, Sara Saez, Sara Calvo, Xose Garcia Soto, José Cordero, Katie Kompoliti, Elan D. Louis, Raquel De La Fuente Anuncibay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: Little is known about the academic performance of students with tic disorders (TD). Our aim was to investigate the association of TD and poor academic performance over time. Methods: Longitudinal, observational study of mainstream schoolchildren comparing grade retention (GR) and learning disorders (LD) in students with vs. without TD between 2010 and 2014. Students with vs. without TD based on DSM-IV-TR criteria, or with vs. without GR and LD were compared in terms of comorbidities, school, and environmental characteristics. The association of TD with GR was analyzed using hazard ratios (HRs) with 95% CIs, and with LD using logistic regression analysis [Odds ratio (OR)]. Results: Two hundred fifty-eight students were included (mean age 14.0 ± 1.71 years, 143 [55.4%] males). The incident rate for TD and GR was 2.6 and 3.3 per 100 persons-year, respectively. LD found in 21 (9.9%) students was associated with TD (OR 11.62, 95% CI 2.21-60.90, p = 0.004), and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD; OR 6.63, 95% CI 1.55-28.37, p = 0.01). Low psychological support (HRs 12.79, 95% CI 3.39-48.17) and low sport participation (HRs 6.41, 95% CI 1.54-26.78) were risk factors for GR. Conclusions: TD was associated with academic difficulties, namely, LD in conjunction with ADHD but not GR. The diagnosis of TD and comorbidities, and the initiation of proper treatment could have a favorable impact on school performance, and consequently on social development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)155-163
Number of pages9
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Attention deficit disorder
  • Chronic tic disorder
  • Education
  • Incidence
  • Learning disability
  • Movement disorders
  • Prevalence
  • Tics
  • Tourette syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Clinical Neurology


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