Implementation of Mandatory School Uniforms

There is much to support the view that it is clothes

that wear us and not we them; we may make them take

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the mould of arm of breast, but they would mould our hearts,

brains, tongues to their linking. (Virginia Woolf)


The implementation of mandatory school uniform introduced in many public schools in the USA is especially centralized through the research of its impact of children’s psychological and mental development. The paper will disclose the basic theoretical studies concerning the point, striving to prove the pressure on the part of education system regulation as to the school clothes; psychological analysis of researches described in the paper disclosed strong contradictions as to the influence of the school uniform on education process. The reflection of school accommodations on children’s development has been thoroughly studied, balancing all negative and positive aspects of the problem.


A number of psychological researches are aimed at analysis of relationship between the school uniform policies implementation and school spirit and climate. It was proved that school clothing has a direct influence of children’s system of perception concerning safety and educational environment. The view as to the point in modern science is considered to be contradicting enough to make an appropriate conclusion.

The paper will be merely focused on the psychological aspect of uniforms implementation, and the rate of its connection with the development of education behavior under the impact of school policies. There is a tendency to believe that uniforms improve the educational arena considerably; though in many aspects of psychological study the implementation of school uniforms is the integral part of potential threat to moral state and freedom of children, leading to the formation of negative prints left on their mental background.

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The research will be based on the academic and psychological information related to the topic; the principle aim of the paper is concentrated around identification of more evidence as to the uniform policy impact of psychological development of schoolchildren.

Psychological Methods

The problem of school uniforms implementation is based on the analysis of children’s psychological development under the influence of established forms style. It is necessary to underline the principle psychological aspects concerning the human behavior alteration under the impact of rules or regulations introduction:

  • The investigation of essential measures for describing the students’ behavior wearing uniforms to schools and those who do not.
  • The problem is focused on the issue of prediction patterns. Psychologists strive analyze whether an individual would be able to develop a positive mindset in the near future, or would he end up with a negative perspective in life. This aspect is related to students who wear dresses and those who do not wear school dresses while attending regular classes.
  • The third issue highlighted by psychologists is connected with the measurement of changes observed in students’ behavior, who either wear uniforms to schools and to those who abstain from wearing uniforms.
  • The final goal of psychologists is to determine whether their knowledgebase is efficient enough to resolve real life scenarios or not.

The analysis of child’s psychology on the basis of researched topic is to be disclosed through the basic psychological methods, helping to identify the impact of uniforms implementation on children’s behavior. Besides, it is necessary to underline the fact that the described methods are considered to be essential in getting to know the real life picture of students undergoing mental traumas and stress, which can be connected with mandatory school uniforms implementation.

The scientific is an orderly method involving a few basic parameters. While trying to develop a clear understanding dress code effects on students, trained psychologists make use of the psychological methods in a bid to reach a final conclusion. Following the methodology of the scientific methods, psychologists make sure that they try and first figure out exactly what they are wanting to research. In this scenario, the research is based on the overall impact of the dress code in the development of a human psychology. In order to do so, psychologists collect and analyze real life data. For this, they are required to interview each and every student on an individual basis. In certain cases, they may prepare a common questionnaire and pass it on to a group of 50 to 100 students.

The Pasadena Education Unified School Board adopted some new policies as to introduction of minimum standards in mandatory uniform within elementary schools; but all the secondary schools are to have strict dress code, as it influences the formation of disciplined and safe learning environment. The idea of the program is, that safe and secure students learning basic essentials and values of the society, covering uniforms implementation, are better educated and more skillful. The implementation of school uniforms is considered to be an effective way to reduce the problems connected with school safety and discipline. (Pasadena Unified School District, 2009)

It should be noted that such consideration of the education aspect system are thoroughly studied in the psychological science; the scientific method is demonstrated in the identification of positive effects produced by uniforms implementation within Pasadena District. The research conducted was merely based on the results of questionnaires made by school board, which has shown that in 87% cases that dress code leads to the improvement of education environment.

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The second method involved in the problem study is considered to be predictive hypothesis, being also referred to the relationship between two different aspects, education and psychology. So, according to the study conducted by Sentinel School Department, school uniforms never improve the students’ academic performance and behavior. Orange County school affairs developed a report based on the interrelation between psychological and mental development of the students involved in the program of uniform implementation.

The compliance rate among the schools with school uniform implementation reached about 90% in 2004. This step in the system of education was proved to lead to strong violence among children whose psychological state is in the condition of constant development. (Postal, 2007)

Descriptive and Non-Descriptive Studies

Psychological study is focused on predictive method in uniform implementation analysis for the purpose of predicting a hypothesis. Doulin and Strenberg, 1996, stressed that ‘The reason we went to uniforms is to try to equalize things for our kids. You get away from worrying about who has and who does not have, and build up a little bit of self-esteem.’ (Brunsma, 2004) the educational restructuring is performed through the artificial increase of self esteem and pressure of psychological aspect of students’ development.

This consideration was made through descriptive method involvement which is based on Naturalistic Observations, Case Studies and Survey Methods. Naturalistic Observations are primarily concerned with observing the natural environment. The strength of such a method is the genuine nature of the resultant. The weakness is the basic change in variables during the behavior. There is also a possible interaction between the observer as well as the observee.

Likewise, it takes a while to extract information. The Case Study methods are done, when there is something new or unusual about a particular subject. Case studies are mainly performed to gather as much information as possible. In this scenario, there is an in-depth study of an individual or a group. The advantage of this method is that a lot of data is produced and that it can find out new information. The only weakness of this method is that it is slower than naturalistic observations. The sample size is also very small and the results are often limited to a single individual.

The survey method is another type, where verbal communication and telemarketing methods are used. The advantage of this method is, that a lot of data can be accumulated at a reasonably lesser price. In this scenario, the students would be willing to discuss as much as possible information. The biggest disadvantage of the survey method is that it is foolproof in nature. The data thus collected cannot be authenticated as people often lie, while trying to be the best in terms of their persona. In this method, it has been noticed that people often get misled by statements, which in turn lead to different answers. Likewise, the surveys are completely limited by their demographics. At the same time, the surveys are not at all limited representative of all the people present (Ellis, 2009).

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Non-Descriptive Studies

These studies in the sphere of psychology are also known as a measure of relationship between two distinct variables. Over here, the variables must be known and they should be able to be placed into measurable numbers.

The uniform of an individual can also be placed in a non-descriptive study as it can be measured in terms of numbers (Shores, Gunter, & Jack, 1993).While we are talking about the co-relation factor pertaining to the child psychology scenario; we can easily state that the relationship between uniform and the emotional quotient of an individual can be measured. There are three kinds of correlations that can be discussed here (John, Strut, Pat, & field, 2002).

Positive Correlation- in positive co relation, if one variable tends to increase, the other one also increases at the same pace. It has been noticed that positive co relations move in the same direction. Henceforth, over here, either both variables increase or they both decrease. A perfect example would be the height of the person-the taller the person, the heavier would he/she is.

Negative Correlation – it states that, when the amount of one variable increases, the other variable automatically decreases. It is similar to the fact, that the less a student wears a uniform, the lesser are the chances that he/she would be able to develop perfect psychological skills. Likewise, if the students sleep less number of hours, he/she receives lesser number of grades as well.

Coefficient of Correlation refers to the degree of relation; the measurement is done in terms of numbers. The closer the number to zero, the lesser are the chances of a weak relationship and vice versa. Over here, the strongest relationship lies furthest from zero. The direction of the relationship is either negative or positive. The overall strength of a relationship is directly determined by the distance which lies from the number zero. Over here, the strength of the relationship is not governed by either the positive or the negative numbers.

Researchers have claimed that a uniform has the ability to reform the overall mental ability of a student. The uniform is such a conditioner that it makes all students alike. No matter how rich or poor the student may be, it is indeed the uniform that allows the student to understand that overall concept of equality. When both rich as well as poor students are placed in the same level, the chances are that they would be able to understand concepts without feeling the need to measure their wealth.

Over here, the student belonging to a poor family has no idea regarding his/her poverty, while the student who is rich has no idea that he is a wealthy human being. The concept of uniform inculcates a feeling of equality. It is also essential in instilling a certain level of discipline as well (Chatterjee, 1999).It has also been learnt through numerous researches that students who are habitual to wearing a uniform are more sincere and hard working as compared to those who are not in uniforms.

While researchers have always tried to defend their views regarding the positive impact of a uniform over the mindsets of students, the fact remains that there are some researchers who completely disagree with this statement. Some researchers argue that the presence of a school uniform poses to be a hindrance in the overall development of a student. This is because a student is unable to fathom his/her true identity.

According to Skiba 2000, the presence of a uniform actually places a curtain over his/her ability to understand the real scenario and this in turn leads to a situation wherein the individual is unable to face reality with a smiling face.On the other hand, a majority of researchers are of the opinion that it is indeed the presence of a uniform that allows a student to develop a sense of responsibility. Over here, the student is able to understand that he/she is no less than the other individual (Skiba, Peterson & Williams, 1997).He/she is also made to understand that he/she is in no means superior to the other student.

This sense of equality is also considered vital when the need of the hour is to ascertain whether the student would be disciplined enough to learn what he/she is being taught at school. A non-uniformed individual would not be able to develop a sense of discipline because he has always been dictated by his personal wills (Balter & Tamis-LeMonda, 2005). On the other hand, the one wearing a uniform would always have the ability to understand that there are a set of rules which need to be followed if he/she is to remain in the confines of the educational institution.

The methods disclosed are widely used for the researches of education system interaction with mental development. The implementation of school uniforms appeared to be a negative step in psychological formation of personality, despite the fact that it gives artificial image of education improvement.


A uniform leads to less violence, vandalism and fighting. Hence, it causes a ‘halo effect’ in a student. For those students who abstain from wearing a uniform, the ‘little devil’ effect seems to be in prominence (Posner,1996).There has always been a healthy debate regarding the ability of a uniform to develop and mould the overall personality of a student. While some researchers are of the opinion that the uniform acts as a disciplinarian status, others are of the opinion that the uniform has no major role to play in developing the psychology of a student.

Nonetheless, the fact remains that a student has the ability to maintain a level of discipline if he/she is made to wear a uniform (Tobin, Sugai, & Colvin, 1996). On the other hand, a casually dressed individual would have a mentality which is symbolic to casualness. in the end, it would be appropriate to state that while developing the overall psychology of a student, it is of vital importance that you also have the student learn to respect his/her uniform. Over here, the uniform is symbolic to good behavior.


Balter, L., & Tamis-LeMonda, C. S. (2005). Child psychology: Handbook of contemperory issues. London: CRC Press.

Borsuk, A. J., & Murphy, M. B. (1999). Idle or otherwise, threats bring severe discipline: Where area students once faced a principal, now they face the police. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 33, 8-10.

Brunsma, D. (2004). The School Uniform Movement and What it tells us about American Education: A Symbolic Crusade. Rowman and Littlefield.

Chatterjee, C. (1999). Uniform inprovemennts. Web.

Ellis, K. (2009). Read about school uniforms: arguments pro and con, implementation issues, and benefits and disadvantages. Why have School Uniforms and Dress Codes? Web.

John, H., Strut, F., Pat, N., & field, S. (2002). Mandatory school uniforms: a debate for students. Web.

Posner, M. (1996). The “halo effect” of school uniforms . Web.

Postal, L. (2007). School Uniforms Don’t Improve Academics or Behavior, Orange County Reports Finds. Orlando Sentinel. Web.

Skiba, R. (2000). Zero Tolerence, Zero Evidence: An Analysis of School Desplinaery Practice. Indiana Education Policy Center , pp. 37-39.

Skiba, R. J., Peterson, R. L., & Williams, T. (1997).Office referrals and suspension: Disciplinary intervention in middle schools. Education and Treatment of Children, 20(3), 295-315.

Shores, R. E, Gunter, P. L., & Jack, S. L. (1993). Classroom management strategies: Are they setting events for coercion? Behavioral Disorders, 18, 92-102.

Tobin, T., Sugai, G., & Colvin, G. (1996). Patterns in middle school discipline records. Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders, 4(2), 82-94.

Uniform and Dress Code Standards. (2009). Pasadena Unified School District. Web.

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