An academic problem could both be a temporary learning problem in school, or a more serious disorder as defined by DSM-IV. The term is usually used in educational psychology.
In DSM-IV-TR “academic problem” (v62.3) is defined as:
“This category can be used when the focus of clinical attention is an academic problem that is not due to a mental disorder or, if due to a mental disorder, is sufficiently severe to warrant independent clinical attention. An example is a pattern of failing grades or of significant underachievement in a person with adequate intellectual capacity in the absence of a Learning or Communication Disorder or any other mental disorder that would account for the problem.”
In research, “academic problems” is a popular scale of measuring problem behavior in school, in children with ADHD.
MY POINT OF VIEW: Academic Problems is something that should be continuously screened for in students, to be able to support them and prevent further problems. It is also an early sign that something is not right, and might predict future psychological problems.
– Mikael Glännström