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The relationships between violence in childhood and educational outcomes: A global systematic review and meta-analysis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6-28
Number of pages23
JournalChild Abuse and Neglect
Early online date12 Jul 2017
StatePublished - Jan 2018


This is the first study to estimate the association globally between violence in childhood on educational outcomes, addressing a significant gap in the current evidence base. Systematic reviews and meta-analyses were conducted to identify 67 and 43 studies respectively from 21 countries to estimate the relationship between different types of violence in childhood on educational outcomes including school dropout/graduation, school absence, academic achievement and other educational outcomes such as grade retention, learning outcomes and remedial classes. Findings show that all forms of violence in childhood have a significant impact on educational outcomes. Children who have experienced any form of violence in childhood have a 13% predicted probability that they will not graduate from school. Males who are bullied are nearly three times more likely to be absent from school and girls who have experienced sexual violence have a three-fold increased risk of being absent, AOR 2.912, 95% CI (0.904–4.92) and AOR 3.147, 95% CI (0.033–4.57) respectively. Violence in childhood also has a significant impact on children’s academic achievement on standardized tests. This study shows how different forms of violence in childhood contribute to inequalities in education—for both boys and girls and that an increased investment in prevention is needed in order to meet the global Sustainable Development Goals of ending violence, raising learning outcomes and creating safe, non-violence and inclusive learning environments. More work is also needed to further define, monitor and measure the link between violence in childhood and educational outcomes in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals

    Research areas

  • child maltreatment, violence against children, educational outcomes, consequences, learning outcomes, systematic review, meta-analysis

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