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Experiences of violence and deficits in academic achievement among urban primary school children in Jamaica.
Child Abuse Negl. 2009 May; 33(5):296-306.CA

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between children's experiences of three different types of violence and academic achievement among primary school children in Kingston, Jamaica.

METHODS

A cross-sectional study of 1300 children in grade 5 [mean (S.D.) age: 11 (0.5) years] from 29 government primary schools in urban areas of Kingston and St. Andrew, Jamaica, was conducted. Academic achievement (mathematics, reading, and spelling) was assessed using the Wide Range Achievement Test. Children's experiences of three types of violence - exposure to aggression among peers at school, physical punishment at school, and exposure to community violence - were assessed by self-report using an interviewer administered questionnaire.

RESULTS

Fifty-eight percent of the children experienced moderate or high levels of all three types of violence. Boys had poorer academic achievement and experienced higher levels of aggression among peers and physical punishment at school than girls. Children's experiences of the three types of violence were independently associated with all three indices of academic achievement. There was a dose-response relationship between children's experiences of violence and academic achievement with children experiencing higher levels of violence having the poorest academic achievement and children experiencing moderate levels having poorer achievement than those experiencing little or none.

CONCLUSIONS

Exposure to three different types of violence was independently associated with poor school achievement among children attending government, urban schools in Jamaica. Programs are needed in schools to reduce the levels of aggression among students and the use of physical punishment by teachers and to provide support for children exposed to community violence.

PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS

Children in Jamaica and the wider Caribbean experience significant amounts of violence in their homes, communities, and schools. In this study, we demonstrate a dose-response relationship between primary school children's experiences of three different types of violence and their academic achievement. The study points to the need for validated violence prevention programs to be introduced in Jamaican primary schools. Such programs need to train teachers in appropriate classroom management and discipline strategies and to promote children's social and emotional competence and prevent aggression.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Educational Studies, University of the West Indies, Mona, Kingston 7, Jamaica.No affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

19481803

Citation

Baker-Henningham, Helen, et al. "Experiences of Violence and Deficits in Academic Achievement Among Urban Primary School Children in Jamaica." Child Abuse & Neglect, vol. 33, no. 5, 2009, pp. 296-306.
Baker-Henningham H, Meeks-Gardner J, Chang S, et al. Experiences of violence and deficits in academic achievement among urban primary school children in Jamaica. Child Abuse Negl. 2009;33(5):296-306.
Baker-Henningham, H., Meeks-Gardner, J., Chang, S., & Walker, S. (2009). Experiences of violence and deficits in academic achievement among urban primary school children in Jamaica. Child Abuse & Neglect, 33(5), 296-306. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chiabu.2008.05.011
Baker-Henningham H, et al. Experiences of Violence and Deficits in Academic Achievement Among Urban Primary School Children in Jamaica. Child Abuse Negl. 2009;33(5):296-306. PubMed PMID: 19481803.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Experiences of violence and deficits in academic achievement among urban primary school children in Jamaica. AU - Baker-Henningham,Helen, AU - Meeks-Gardner,Julie, AU - Chang,Susan, AU - Walker,Susan, Y1 - 2009/05/29/ PY - 2007/05/22/received PY - 2008/04/25/revised PY - 2008/05/08/accepted PY - 2009/6/2/entrez PY - 2009/6/2/pubmed PY - 2009/8/20/medline SP - 296 EP - 306 JF - Child abuse & neglect JO - Child Abuse Negl VL - 33 IS - 5 N2 - OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between children's experiences of three different types of violence and academic achievement among primary school children in Kingston, Jamaica. METHODS: A cross-sectional study of 1300 children in grade 5 [mean (S.D.) age: 11 (0.5) years] from 29 government primary schools in urban areas of Kingston and St. Andrew, Jamaica, was conducted. Academic achievement (mathematics, reading, and spelling) was assessed using the Wide Range Achievement Test. Children's experiences of three types of violence - exposure to aggression among peers at school, physical punishment at school, and exposure to community violence - were assessed by self-report using an interviewer administered questionnaire. RESULTS: Fifty-eight percent of the children experienced moderate or high levels of all three types of violence. Boys had poorer academic achievement and experienced higher levels of aggression among peers and physical punishment at school than girls. Children's experiences of the three types of violence were independently associated with all three indices of academic achievement. There was a dose-response relationship between children's experiences of violence and academic achievement with children experiencing higher levels of violence having the poorest academic achievement and children experiencing moderate levels having poorer achievement than those experiencing little or none. CONCLUSIONS: Exposure to three different types of violence was independently associated with poor school achievement among children attending government, urban schools in Jamaica. Programs are needed in schools to reduce the levels of aggression among students and the use of physical punishment by teachers and to provide support for children exposed to community violence. PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS: Children in Jamaica and the wider Caribbean experience significant amounts of violence in their homes, communities, and schools. In this study, we demonstrate a dose-response relationship between primary school children's experiences of three different types of violence and their academic achievement. The study points to the need for validated violence prevention programs to be introduced in Jamaican primary schools. Such programs need to train teachers in appropriate classroom management and discipline strategies and to promote children's social and emotional competence and prevent aggression. SN - 1873-7757 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/19481803/Experiences_of_violence_and_deficits_in_academic_achievement_among_urban_primary_school_children_in_Jamaica_ L2 - https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0145-2134(09)00095-7 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -