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Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 1680-5348Print version ISSN 1020-4989


VIEIRA, Maria de Fátima A. et al. Prevalence of grade retention and associated factors among adolescents from the 1993 Pelotas, Brazil, birth cohort. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2012, vol.31, n.4, pp.303-309. ISSN 1680-5348.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the occurrence of grade retention until 11 years of age and the factors associated with retention. METHODS: This prospective study included 4 452 adolescents from the 1993 city of Pelotas birth cohort (state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil). This sample represents 87.5% of the original cohort. Grade retention was defined as the repetition of at least one school grade until the date of the interview. The following independent variables were analyzed: sex, skin color, birth weight, ownership of goods, age, maternal schooling, type of school (private, state, or city), age at school entry, and employment. RESULTS: The overall frequency of grade retention was 36.3%, vs. 42.8% for boys and 30.0% for girls. The adjusted analysis showed that the lower the level of maternal schooling, ownership of goods, and birth weight, the higher the risk of grade retention for both boys and girls. Black/brown adolescents, those studying in public schools, and those who were 7 years of age or older at school entry had a higher risk of grade retention. For boys, childhood labor was associated with grade retention. CONCLUSIONS: Low socioeconomic and low maternal schooling levels were the factors most strongly associated with grade retention. Strategies to reduce this situation must take into account demographic and socioeconomic characteristics.

Keywords : Underachievement; socioeconomic factors; adolescent; cohort studies; Brazil.

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