School performance in adolescent Jamaican girls: Associations with health, social and behavioural characteristics, and risk factors for dropout

Susan P. Walker, Sally M. Grantham-Mcgregor, John H. Himes, Sonia Williams, Edith M. Duff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)109-122
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Adolescence
Volume21
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1998

Bibliographical note

Funding 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.

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