The authors report the results of a research on the relationship between emotional problems and educational trouble during pre-adolescence. The study has been done on a broad group of students attending the last period of primary school and the first period of secondary school in a neighbourhood of Naples influenced by social problems and financial difficulties. Every subject has been appraised in relation to the scholastic results. Self esteem and depression risks have been evaluated trough self descriptive questionaries. The data confirms a significative relationship among scholastic success, self esteem feelings and depressive risks. A more serious depressive risk has been pointed out in those students affected by scholastic unsuccess and negative self esteem. The authors discuss the data from a developmenteal point of a view and offer indications about preventive interventions on emotional disease in the school.