Study: School Uniforms Promote Equality, Discipline


Study show school uniforms promote equality and discipline according to teachers, principals

Students in public schools in Asia are required to wear uniforms. The psychology behind these allows students to follow the rules, respect hierarchies, and complete obedience.

However, studies are difficult to ascertain its advantage or disadvantage, depending on who you ask because the research available is more anecdotal than empirical.

School uniforms impose discipline.

Schools in Asia and the USA have contrasting views on student uniforms. Yet, Asians continue to excel, consistently top SAT scores, and are now the highest income and most educated above other ethnicities in the country.

One reason is that Asians generally are more disciplined than other racial groups, with the lowest rates of suspensions and expulsions. School uniforms are one strategy to sets that culture.

Sports, the military, and even prison require uniforms, not because it looks good, but because it imposes discipline.

Asians are more disciplined than other racial groups.


School uniforms work—depending on who you ask.

A student survey on school uniforms will likely indicate an aversion to them. Teachers and principals, on the other hand, will be in favor of it.

U.K. survey shows school uniforms are practical.

In 2007, an Oxford Brook University survey of students 13 to 17 years old in the U.K. indicated school uniforms help them feel happier and more confident. A decade after, a similar study in the U.K. showed little had changed. [I.E.] [S.A.]

  • 9/10 of teachers believe school uniforms help to reduce bullying.
  • 3/4 of mothers say school uniforms make their lives easier.
  • 2/3 of parents believe wearing school uniforms puts everyone on a level playing field.
  • 7/10 children believe wearing a school uniform helps them to fit in.

Malaysian study show school uniforms are effective.

A Malaysian study in 2020 surveyed students and teachers on their perception of mandatory school uniforms. Similar to the U.S. study in 2021, students did not see the importance of uniforms.

However, teachers agree that wearing school uniforms in Malaysia has the following positive effects.

  • Encouraged inequality in terms of socioeconomic status.
  • Limited discrimination and bullying related to socioeconomic status.
  • Uniforms are essential to safety and security.
  • It helps control and manages students.
  • Those in more prestigious schools had a stronger sense of belongingness.

A recent survey of secondary school principals found that 70 percent of principals believe that mandated uniforms would reduce discipline problems. [ERIC]

Potential benefits attributed to school uniforms include improved discipline, increased respect for teachers, increased school attendance, fewer distractions, improved academic performance, increased self-esteem and confidence, lower overall clothing costs, promotion of group spirit, reduction in social stratification and fashion statements,
improved classroom behavior, lower rates of school crime and violence, and easy identification of non-students.
[ERIC, Brown Page 6]


Conflicting Studies: USA study show school uniforms are not critical.

According to a 2021 study. “We didn’t see much difference in our behavior measures, regardless of whether the schools had a uniform policy or not,” said Professor Arya Ansari, lead author of the research at The Ohio State University.

Also, those who wore uniforms had lower levels of school belonging. “Fashion is one way that students express themselves, which may be an important part of the school experience,” Ansari said. 

What is the difference between U.K. and Asian studies?

The 2021 USA survey examined elementary-aged students, whereas the Malaysian and U.K. surveys found favor in parents, teachers, and principals. Ergo, who should we listen to kids?

Who should we listen to kids?

Study: Joining a school club lessens depression.

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