School Uniform

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THE RELATIONSHIP OF SCHOOL UNIFORMS TO STUDENT ATTENDANCE,
ACHIEVEMENT, AND DISCIPLINE
by
Russell Edward Sowell
Liberty University
A Dissertation Presented in Partial Fulfillment
Of the Requirements for the Degree
Doctor of Education
Liberty University
February, 2012The Relationship of School Uniforms to Student Attendance, Achievement and Discipline
by Russell Edward Sowell
A Dissertation Presented in Partial Fulfillment
Of the Requirements for the Degree
Doctor of Education
Liberty University, Lynchburg, VA
January, 2012
APPROVED BY:
Constance Pearson, Ed. D. Chair February 2012
Georgia Evans, Ed.D. Committee February 2012
Charles K. Smith, Ph.D. Committee February 2012
Scott Watson, Ph.D. Chair of Graduate Studies February 2012Abstract Russell Edward Sowell. THE RELATIONSHIP OF SCHOOL UNIFORMS TO SCHOOL ATTENDANCE, ACHIEVEMENT, AND DISCIPLINE. (Under the direction of Dr. Constance Pearson) School of Education, February,2012. This causal-comparative study examined the relationship of school uniforms to attendance, academic achievement, and discipline referral rates, using data collected from two high schools in rural southwest Georgia county school systems, one with a uniforms program and one without a uniforms program. After accounting for race and students with disabilities status, School A (with uniforms) had significantly better attendance and somewhat fewer minor behavior infractions, but trended lower in standardized math scores and more intermediate and major behavioral infractions than School B (without uniforms). These findings failed to demonstrate an unambiguous advantage of school uniforms, consistent with the mixed results across reports in the published literature. Implications and suggestions for further research are detailed. Key Words: school uniforms, discipline, attendance, student achievement, AYP (adequate yearly progress)ii

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
I sincerely thank my committee members, Dr Georgia Evans and Dr. Charles Smith, for their support and advice throughout this process. I want to express my gratitude to my committee chair, Dr. Constance Pearson, for all of her advice and expertise but most importantly for never giving up on me on the long journey. I especially want to thank Don Heard for guiding me though all of my “technical issues” and having the patience and tolerance to help, even when he needed to work on other tasks.

I would like to thank my faculty at school for all of the support, advice, and guidance throughout this process.
Most importantly I would like to thank my family, my wife, Hope, and two children, Myles and Anna Bay. I could not have accomplished my dissertation without their patience with me and always understanding that Daddy needed to work. One final thank you must go to my late father, Palmer Sowell, for instilling in me the drive to finish what I started and to never give up. Thanks, Dad, I would have never finished without you.iii

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Page
Acknowledgements ..................................................................................................................ii Table of Contents.....................................................................................................................iii Table of Tables ........................................................................................................................vi Table of Figures......................................................................................................................vii CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION......................................................................................1 Background.........................................................................................................................3 Problem Statement..............................................................................................................6 Purpose Statement...
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