Recent research led by Dr Fry and the Safe Inclusive Schools Network (SISN) explored how violence in childhood affects children’s outcomes at school globally.
The study found that all forms of violence in childhood had a significant impact on educational outcomes. All types of violence negatively affected children’s grades and test scores, and also impacted the likelihood of children graduating from school. Children who had experienced any form of violence were 13% less likely to graduate from high school compared to children who hadn’t experienced violence.
Certain types of violence were found to be more significant for specific outcomes. Bullying had a strong influence on school attendance and participation through school engagement and less of an impact on academic achievement compared to other forms of violence. Sexual violence had a substantial impact on standardized test scores: children who experienced some form of sexual violence were more likely to score lower on standardized tests by 29 percentile points. Boys’ and girls’ outcomes also differed. Violence – especially bullying – was more likely to impact boys’ absence from school compared to girls’. When looking at outcomes like having to repeat a grade or to take remedial classes, emotional violence had a larger impact on girls than on boys.
These results are important to understand how and to what extent different forms of violence in childhood contribute to inequalities in education, which is key to achieving the SDG 4a target of providing safe, non-violent, inclusive and effective learning environments for all. . The findings support the idea that prevention of violence in childhood can be viewed as a key strategy for raising attainment and improving educational outcomes globally for both boys and girls.
See here for more about SISN and our work on safe and inclusive education.
**This was adapted from a blog written by Dr Fry for Know Violence. See the full blog here.