School Spirit

You gotta dress to impress! Even in grade school!

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science.

School uniforms – love ‘em or hate ‘em? Some educators believe wearing uniforms improves student behavior and strengthens school spirit. Others think dressing alike prevents students from expressing their true “flair.”  Which is it?

Enter Arya Ansari from Ohio State University and team! 

They analyzed data from over 6,000 students. All students remained in the same schools between kindergarten and fifth grade. Some schools had a uniform policy, others did not.

Researchers compared behaviors like anxiety, aggression and social skills between schools. All behaviors were rated by teachers. Then researchers correlated students’ behaviors with their school’s uniform policy. They also measured student attendance

The uniform policy in both public and private schools appeared to have NO effect on behavior. However, attendance was slightly higher for low-income students who had to wear school uniforms over those who didn’t.

So ditch those plaid blazers – if your kids want to wear pajamas to school, hooray!  More money for nummy nummy lunch! Yay team.

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