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Demographic and lifestyle correlates of school attendance, English and Maths attainment, and the occurrence of behavioural sanctions in British secondary school children

Richards, Gareth and Smith, Andrew Paul 2016. Demographic and lifestyle correlates of school attendance, English and Maths attainment, and the occurrence of behavioural sanctions in British secondary school children. British Journal of Education, Society & Behavioural Science 17 (1) , pp. 1-15. 10.9734/BJESBS/2016/26393

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Abstract

Aims: Performance in school is known to predict a number of important outcomes in later life (e.g. socioeconomic status). For this reason it is considered useful to identify aspects of demography and lifestyle that are associated with low school attendance, low academic attainment, and high occurrences of problem behaviour. Study Design: The current study utilised a cross-sectional design; analyses were performed twice due to the availability of two cross-sections of data from the same sample. Place and Duration of Study: Data from the current study were collected from three secondary schools in Cornwall, UK. The first cross-section was collected in December, 2012, and the second was collected in June, 2013. Methodology: The School Information Management System was used to obtain data relating to demography (sex, school and year group attended, eligibility/ineligibility to receive free school meals, and presence/absence of a special educational needs status) and school performance (attendance, attainment at Key Stage 3/Key Stage 4 English and maths, and occurrence of behavioural sanctions). Lifestyle factors (number of sleep hours, and frequency of exercise participation) were assessed via pen and paper questionnaire. Chi-square, chi-square tests of linear association, and between-subjects t-tests were used to establish whether the school performance outcomes were associated with the demographic and lifestyle variables. These analyses were then followed-up with binary logistic regression, to determine whether the observed effects were independent of one another. Results: Low school performance was consistently associated with male sex, school and year group attended, special educational needs status, eligibility to receive free school meals, low sleep hours, and infrequent exercise participation. In addition, below average school attendance was itself predictive of low English and maths attainment, and of a high occurrence of behavioural sanctions. The majority of effects observed were significant at both the univariate and multivariate levels. Conclusions: The identification of demographic and lifestyle correlates of school performance may be useful for detecting at-risk individuals who might benefit from interventions. If such interventions were to be effective, the associated reductions in future unemployment and criminality could be beneficial to society as a whole.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1603 Secondary Education. High schools
Uncontrolled Keywords: Adolescent behavior; attainment; demography; education; exercise; sleep.
Publisher: Sciencedomain International
ISSN: 2278-0998
Funders: The Waterloo Foundation
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 21 July 2016
Date of Acceptance: 25 May 2016
Last Modified: 27 Nov 2017 21:58
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/93130

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