Health, nutrition and behavioural determinants of school achievement, attendance and dropout were examined in 452 girls aged 13-14 years, randomly selected from grade 8 in nine schools in inner-city Kingston, Jamaica. Girls who were anaemic, sexually active or aggressive had worse achievement levels. Better achievement levels were associated with possession of school materials and access to reading material outside of school. Poor attendance, early sexual activity, and not living with both parents predicted school dropout in the subsequent year. Strategies to reduce anaemia, to improve sex education and reduce the levels of aggression may benefit school performance.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The study was supported by the International Center for Research on Women, funded by USAID Office of Nutrition, No. DAN-5117-A-00-0087-00. We thank E. Nelson, D. Thomson and A. Whitter for assistance with data collection, and the staff and students and the Ministry of Education for their co-operation.