School uniforms have no effect on kids’ behaviour or attendance, study says – World News


More than 6,000 children were studied for the research and the lead author of the study said “school uniforms may not be the most effective way to improve student behaviour”

More than 6,000 children were studied for the research published in the journal Early Childhood Research Quarterly.
More than 6,000 children were studied for the research published in the journal Early Childhood Research Quarterly

Wearing school uniform at primary school has no effect on child behaviour or attendance, a new study revealed.

In fact, when uniforms are compulsory, children feel less sense of belonging to the school, according to the research.

Uniforms have long been thought to give kids an identity and improve behaviour because everyone looks the same so there is no outward.

More than 6,000 children were studied for the research published in the journal Early Childhood Research Quarterly.

Arya Ansari, lead author of the study and assistant professor of human sciences at The Ohio State University, said: “A lot of the core arguments about why school uniforms are good for student behaviour don’t hold up in our sample.

Uniforms have long been thought to give kids an identity and improve behaviour
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Image:

Getty Images)

“We didn’t see much difference in our behaviour measures, regardless of whether the schools had a uniform policy or not.

“There hasn’t been much research done on the value of school uniforms in the past 20 years or so, especially given how much their use has increased.”

Proponents of school uniforms have argued that, among other things, they promote better attendance and a stronger sense of community, which results in less bullying and fighting.

The researchers used data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, which followed a nationally representative sample of 6,320 students from kindergarten through to age 11.

Every academic year, teachers rated each student on three dimensions: internalising behaviour problems such as anxiety and social withdrawal, externalising behaviour problems such as aggression or destruction of property and social skills.

Teachers also reported how often each student was absent.

Students reported on their sense of school belonging, such as how close they felt to teachers and classmates
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Image:

Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Overall, school uniforms had no effect on any of the types of behaviour even after taking into account a wide range of other factors that could potentially affect students.

The study did find that low-income students in schools that required uniforms did have slightly better attendance, but that difference amounted to less than one day per year.

The researchers also evaluated self-report measures from the same students when they were 11.

Students reported on their sense of school belonging, such as how close they felt to teachers and classmates.

They also reported their experiences of bullying and social anxiety.

School uniforms were not linked to any differences in bullying or social anxiety in the children.

But those who had to wear uniforms reported lower levels of school belonging than did those who attended schools with no uniform requirements.

Asst Prof Ansari added: “School uniforms may not be the most effective way to improve student behaviour and engagement.”

The study was supported by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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