Study Reveals School Uniforms Don’t Improve Child’s Behavior

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Psychology News – Study found that school uniforms don’t affect young students’ behavior or attendance overall.

In a new study, researchers at the Ohio State University analyzed data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study that included a nationally representative sample of 6320 kindergarten students through the end of fifth grade.

The teachers were asked to rate each student in every academic year regarding three dimensions: externalizing behavior problems (aggression or destruction of property), internalizing behavior problems (anxiety and social withdrawal), and social skills. They also reported how often each student was absent in school. Additionally, the students were asked to report on their sense of school belonging and their experiences of social anxiety and bullying.

According to the findings, school uniforms had no significant effect on any of the three dimensions of behavior in any grade. The study showed no effect even after taking into account a wide range of other factors that could possibly affect students’ behavior. The research discovered that low-income students in schools that required uniforms had slightly better attendance in schools. However, the researchers later clarified that the difference amounted to less than one day per year.

The researchers found no association between school uniforms and experience of bullying or social anxiety in the children. But those students who had to wear school uniforms had lower levels of sense of school belongings in the fifth grade than those who attended schools that required no uniform.

“Fashion is one way that students express themselves, and that may be an important part of the school experience. When students can’t show their individuality, they may not feel like they belong as much,” said Arya Ansari, lead-author of the study published in the journal Early Childhood Research Quarterly.

To Know More You May Refer To:

Ansari, A., Shepard, M., & Gottfried, M. A. (2022). School uniforms and student behavior: Is there a link? Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 58, 278-286.

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