Violence, fear, withdrawal: the school uniform would have negative effects on students

While the school uniform was invited into France’s presidential campaign, a US study found it would have little or no impact on student behavior and attendance. On the contrary, it could even help reduce their ‘sense of belonging’ to the school, and more generally to a community, or even prevent them from expressing their individuality.

School uniforms are becoming more popular in some countries, such as the United States and Japan, and are now adapting to certain societal changes, such as gender neutrality. In France, some presidential candidates want school uniforms returned, advocating for their positive effects on student behavior and for reducing certain inequalities. But what is it?

A team of American scientists, led by Arya Ansari, a humanities professor at Ohio State University, examined the impact of uniform on presence, anxiety, withdrawn self, violence, sense of belonging and other social characteristics of the youngest. To do this, they used data from an early childhood study, based on a nationally representative sample of more than 6,000 students from kindergarten through the end of CM2.

The results show that wearing a school uniform had no effect on the behavior of children of all ages, be it attendance, internal or external behavioral problems. However, the scientists say that low-income students attending schools where uniforms were required were “slightly more common.”

When not accompanied by a significant positive impact, the school uniform did show some of its limits. The study tells us that students who dressed in uniform every day reported a lower level of school engagement than those who could dress in their own clothes. The scientists say their data cannot explain this finding, but instead of creating a sense of community, the uniforms appear to have the opposite effect.

As the first self-expression for the youngest, fashion would make it possible to show their individuality loud and clear. Something that would no longer be possible for everyone with the uniform and would reduce the feeling of belonging to the community, the researchers explain. They conclude that, ultimately, uniforms do not appear to be the most effective means of improving children’s behavior and engagement.

(ETX Daily Up)

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