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Desempeños en salud y desarrollo en la infancia y trayectorias educativas de los adolescentes en Uruguay: Un estudio en base a datos de panel

Elisa Failache (), Gonzalo Salas () and Andrea Vigorito
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Elisa Failache: Universidad de la República (Uruguay). Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y de Administración. Instituto de Economí­a

No 15-06, Documentos de Trabajo (working papers) from Instituto de Economia - IECON

Abstract: Uruguay exhibits high and persistent repetition and drop-out rates in middle and high school. The aim of this study is to assess the determinants of these problematic outcomes, particularly assessing the role of teenage nutritional history and socio-emotional development (and the related concept of non cognitive abilities). Although the theoretical and international literature pinpoints these aspects as key factors, they have been scarcely assessed in developing countries due to the lack of longitudinal and psychometric data. In this study we use a three waves panel survey, Encuesta de Situacion Nutricional de los Niños, that followed 3200 children in 2004 when they were first graders at public primary schools. Children were revisited in 2006, when they were approximately 8-9 years old and then back in 2011-12 at the age 13-14. The data base includes anthropometric information in the three waves and socio-emotional development outcomes based on the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) created by Goodman (1997). SDQ is divided in 5 scales: emotional symptoms, conduct problems, hyperactivity/inattention, peer relationship problems and prosocial behavior. Our main results show that household income, maternal education and body mass index deficits are strong predictors of repetition in primary and secondary school. At the same time, a low performance in SDQ is highly associated with repetition. Middle school-drop-out is strongly associated to SDQ performance, while no effect of the nutritional trajectory is found. Repetition strongly predicts school drop-out. When considering the five SDQ scales, substantial differences by gender are found: whereas in the case of boys conduct problems are the ones more associated to drop-out episodes, in the case of girls, hyperactivity and socio-emotional aspects are the more relevant elements. These results suggest that repetition and drop-out have strong roots in early childhood outcomes and interventions need to cover a wide range of areas since early stages and not only attacking the problem when it is observed.

Keywords: school attendance; non cognitive abilities; panel data; nutrition; teenagers; SDQ repetition; Uruguay (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I21 I31 J13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 36 pages
Date: 2015-04
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-edu and nep-lam
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