Students who opt out of school uniform versus those who don't : what's the difference?


Research has begun to focus on school uniforms and their effects on students and school climate. There are two types of uniform policies, mandatory and voluntary. A mandatory school uniform policy means that all students in a school must wear a uniform. A voluntary school uniform policy means that a uniform policy is in place for the school and students choose whether or not they want to wear the uniform. There is also an opt out provision in some mandatory school uniform policies so if students do not want to wear the uniform, their parents sign a waiver and the students can "opt out" of wearing the uniform. The purpose of the present study was to compare the attitudes and behaviors of students who opt out to those who comply with the uniform policy at a Middle School (grades 6-8). Faculty and administration beliefs about the uniforms and those beliefs effect on students were also examined. One hundred and seventy seven students were examined. The sample was divided into an opt-out group and a control group and then each group was divided by grade level. Data was collected from focus group discussions, academic records and discipline records. The results of separate one-way ANOV As did not support the hypothesized difference between the two groups. Results indicate no significant difference between final grades, average rates of excused and total absences, discipline and incident reports, or standardized test scores for math and reading. Focus groups did however show a divergence between teacher and student beliefs. The results are discussed in terms of Attribution theory and teacher's attributions of students.


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Thesis Completion





Wang, Alvin Y.


Bachelor of Science (B.S.)


College of Arts and Sciences

Degree Program



Arts and Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic;Dissertations, Academic -- Arts and Sciences;Dress codes;School children -- Uniforms;School children's clothing







Access Status

Open Access

Length of Campus-only Access


Document Type

Honors in the Major Thesis

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