(Press-News.org) WASHINGTON, DC, April 16, 2014 — A new study finds that an increase in a municipality's homicide rate causes more elementary school students in that community to fail a grade than would do so if the rate remained stable.
"This finding is a source of concern because exposure to environmental violence is highly prevalent in contemporary societies and is unequally distributed along socioeconomic lines," said study co-author Florencia Torche, an associate professor of sociology at New York University. "To the extent that children living in poverty are more likely to experience environmental violence, its effect on early educational achievement will contribute to the intergenerational reproduction of poverty."
Titled, "Exposure to Local Homicides and Early Educational Achievement in Mexico," the study, which appears in the April issue of Sociology of Education, relies on data on all elementary schools in Mexico from 1990 to 2010 merged with the annual homicide rate in the municipality where each school is located.
According to study co-author Monica L. Caudillo, a doctoral student in sociology at New York University, Mexico's homicide rate grew dramatically between 2007 and 2010, from 8 to 23 murders per 100,000 people, a surge largely driven by drug trafficking-related violence.
"Our findings indicate that the recent increase in homicides resulted in thousands of elementary school children failing a grade," said Caudillo, who noted that research in the United States often focuses on the effect of violence on teenagers — and on outcomes such as dropping out of high school or getting pregnant as a teenager — but gives less consideration to younger children.
"It is an important finding that local violence adversely affects children even when they are very young — jeopardizing their long-term educational attainment," Torche said.
As for why an increase in a municipality's homicide rate increases the likelihood that children from that community fail a grade in elementary school, the authors said the effect is probably driven by heightened fear and anxiety among the kids, as well as by changes in parenting practices.
"Research shows that for children stress and anxiety result in sleep disturbance, problems with attention and concentration, and aggressive behavior," Caudillo said. "All of these factors negatively affect a child's ability to learn and succeed in school."
Regarding changes in parenting practices, the authors said past research shows that when faced with increased violence in their community, parents may resort to harsher parenting styles that may be a consequence of their own stress, as well as a strategy to protect their children from danger. Some of these reactive parenting practices may restrict children's social interactions.
"While keeping children isolated is useful for reducing their exposure to violence, it may hinder their ability to succeed in school because it may cut valuable social ties," Caudillo said.
Although the study focuses on elementary school students in Mexico, the authors said they would expect similar results in the U.S. and other countries. "The causal mechanisms explored in this study are not likely to be limited by national boundaries," Torche said. "We speculate that a similar effect results from exposure to local violence in other countries."
In terms of the study's policy implications, the authors said the findings provide another reason why nations and local communities should invest in reducing violence. "Additionally, our research suggests that in violent environments it may be important to consider initiatives such as teacher training and school programs designed to help children manage and reduce the symptoms associated with exposure to violence in order to alleviate their negative impact," Caudillo said.
About the American Sociological Association and the Sociology of Education
The American Sociological Association, founded in 1905, is a non-profit membership association dedicated to serving sociologists in their work, advancing sociology as a science and profession, and promoting the contributions to and use of sociology by society. The Sociology of Education is a quarterly, peer-reviewed journal of the ASA.
The research article described above is available by request for members of the media. For a copy of the full study, contact Daniel Fowler, ASA's Media Relations and Public Affairs Officer, at (202) 527-7885 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
American Sociological Association
Sprawdź aktualny ranking najlepszych kredytów mieszkaniowych w Polsce - atrakcyjne kredytowanie nieruchomości.
Local homicide rate increases cause more elementary students to fail school
ELSE PRESS RELEASES FROM THIS DATE:
The 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster made the dangers of radiation all too real. To avoid similar tragedies in the future, scientists are working to develop new radiation-proof materials for nuclear power plants, as well as for less obvious applications such as medical devices and airplanes. An article in Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), the American Chemical Society's weekly news magazine, explores the latest developments. Jyllian Kemsley, a senior editor at C&EN, points out that radiation can cause a range of problems from temperature misreadings in electronic devices ...
TORONTO, ON -- A new University of Toronto study has found that by two years of age, children are remarkably good at comprehending speakers who talk with accents the toddlers have never heard before. Even more striking, say researchers, children as young as 15 months who have difficulty comprehending accents they've never heard before can quickly learn to understand accented speech after hearing the speaker for a short time. "Fifteen-month-olds typically say relatively few words, yet they can learn to understand someone with a completely unfamiliar accent," says Elizabeth ...
HOUSTON – (April 16, 2014) – The percentage of uninsured adults ages 18 to 64 in Texas declined from 24.8 to 23.5 between September 2013 and March 2014, according to a report released today by Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy and the Episcopal Health Foundation. The decrease in uninsured appears to be attributable to an increase in employer-sponsored health insurance. The report also found that during this period approximately 746,000 Texans purchased health insurance through the Affordable Care Act's Health Insurance Marketplace, of which 178,000 ...
PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — HIV-positive women respond well to a vaccine against the human papillomavirus (HPV), even when their immune system is struggling, according to newly published results of an international clinical trial. The study's findings counter doubts about whether the vaccine would be helpful, said the Brown University medical professor who led the study. Instead, the data support the World Health Organization's recommendation to vaccinate women with HIV. HPV causes cervical and other cancers. The commonly used HPV vaccine Gardasil had not been ...
ITHACA, N.Y. – Cornell scientists have created the first vaccines that can prevent metritis, one of the most common cattle diseases. The infection not only harms animals and farmers' profits, but also drives more systemic antibiotic use on dairy farms than any other disease. The new vaccines prevent metritis infection of the uterus from taking hold and reduce symptoms when it does, a prospect that could save the United States billions of dollars a year and help curb the growing epidemic of antibiotic resistance. The research was published in the journal PLOS One. Metritis ...
Droplets of filamentous material enclosed in a lipid membrane: these are the models of a "simplified" cell used by the SISSA physicists Luca Giomi and Antonio DeSimone, who simulated the spontaneous emergence of cell motility and division - that is, features of living material - in inanimate "objects". The research is one of the cover stories of the April 10th online issue of the journal Physical Review Letters. Giomi and DeSimone's artificial cells are in fact computer models that mimic some of the physical properties of the materials making up the inner content and ...
The EU must take urgent action to halt the spread of invasive species that are threatening native plants and animals across Europe, according to a scientist from Queen's University Belfast. The threats posed by these species cost an estimated €12 billion each year across Europe. Professor Jaimie Dick, from the Institute for Global Food Security at Queen's School of Biological Sciences, is calling on the EU to commit long-term investment in a European-wide strategy to manage the problem. Invasive species are considered to be among the major threats to native biodiversity ...
Changes in appetite, taste and smell are par for the course for people who have undergone Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery during which one's stomach is made smaller and small intestines shortened. These sensory changes are not all negative, and could lead to more weight loss among patients, says Lisa Graham, lead author of a study by researchers from Leicester Royal Infirmary in the UK. Their findings, published in Springer's journal Obesity Surgery showed that after gastric bypass surgery, patients frequently report sensory changes. Graham and her colleagues say their ...
Amsterdam, April 16, 2014 - Fish exposed to the antidepressant Fluoxetine, an active ingredient in prescription drugs such as Prozac, exhibited a range of altered mating behaviours, repetitive behaviour and aggression towards female fish, according to new research published on in the latest special issue of Aquatic Toxicology: Antidepressants in the Aquatic Environment. The authors of the study set up a series of experiments exposing a freshwater fish (Fathead Minnow) to a range of Prozac concentrations. Following exposure for 4 weeks the authors observed and recorded ...
Researchers from North Carolina State University and the University of Tennessee have found that environmental stressors – from the Trail of Tears to the Civil War – led to significant changes in the shape of skulls in the eastern and western bands of the Cherokee people. The findings highlight the role of environmental factors in shaping our physical characteristics. "We wanted to look at these historically important events and further our understanding of the tangible human impacts they had on the Cherokee people," says Dr. Ann Ross, a professor of anthropology at NC ...