The present study has examined the relationship between school based effort avoidance tendencies and problem behavior in children aged 9 to 16 years. Effort avoidance tendencies were assessed in 367 children with and without child care. Teachers and social workers rated children on behavioral and emotional problems with the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ). Results confirmed significant but low correlations between teacher ratings of behavior and emotional problems in children and selected subscales of self-reported effort avoidance in school, especially for children in child care institutions. For them ‘conduct problems’ were significantly correlated with three of the four subscales and the total sum score of effort avoidance whereas ‘hyperactivity’ was the only scale which was significantly associated with the fourth subscale. In the school sample only ‘hyperactivity’ and ‘peer problems’ were significantly correlated with one subscale of school-based effort avoidance. The findings suggest that more problem behavior is in relation to more school based effort avoidance tendencies.