The impact of community violence on educational outcomes: a review of the literature

Autor(es): Chávez, Cirenia; Aguilar, Marcela

Publisher(s): UNICEF Office of Research - Innocenti

Date: 2021

Pages: 39 p.

Serie: Innocenti working paper

Series Volume: 2021-03


In recent decades, violence in and around schools has become a serious concern in Latin America and the Caribbean. This is not a new or isolated phenomenon, nor is it limited to certain schools or countries. While much of the literature connecting violence and schools has focused on bullying, it has overlooked how violence in other environments, in families and in communities, affects children’s education and their learning outcomes. Latin America and the Caribbean is home to 9 out of the 10 countries with the highest rates of violence in the world. Yet, the prevalence of bullying in schools is one of the lowest in comparison to other regions, suggesting that this is not the most concerning form of violence impacting children’s educational experiences. This literature review summarizes existing evidence on the impacts of community violence on academic achievement as well as on other educational outcomes – including dropping out, absenteeism, truancy, enrolment and attendance – and highlights policy and research implications.

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