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Coed vs Single-Sex Schooling: An Empirical Study on Mental Health Outcomes

Seul-Ki Kim () and Young-Chul Kim ()
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Seul-Ki Kim: Department of Economics, Sogang University, Seoul
Young-Chul Kim: Department of Economics, Sogang University, Seoul

No 2103, Working Papers from Research Institute for Market Economy, Sogang University

Abstract: There is a growing debate around the differential cognitive impacts of coeducational and singlesex education; however, little is known about their non-cognitive impacts. This study investigates the effects of single-sex schooling on students’ mental health, focusing on feeling blue, happiness, and suicidal ideation. Employing a nationally representative large-scale dataset regarding middle school students in South Korea, we found that single-sex schooling has significant positive effects on mental health outcomes, especially for girls. Subsequent examination of the possible channels revealed that while single-sex schooling increases the pressure regarding test scores, it reduces the mental stress that can arise from students’ peer relationships or personal appearance. Further examination using separate national-level youth panel data confirmed that single-sex schooling reduces depression and improves self-esteem and school aspirations. These findings imply that the benefits of single-sex education may be stronger than previously thought and more comprehensive discussions on school formation policies should be pursued.

Keywords: Single-sex Schooling; Mental Health; Non-cognitive Outcomes; School Formation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I10 I21 I31 J16 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 51 pages
Date: 2021
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-neu and nep-ure
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