Schools that implement a school uniform policy are on the rise (Musu-Gillette, Zhang, Wang, Zhang & Oudekerk, 2017). About 74% of these schools have a high population of low socioeconomic status students (Musu-Gillette et al., 2017) with about 75% or more qualifying for free or reduced lunch. The purpose of this study was to examine any relationships between students' perceptions of the effects of school uniforms and student socioeconomic status. In a charter school, a survey was completed by students to gather perception information and a separate survey by parents to gather socioeconomic status information. Hypotheses were tested using descriptive statistics and multiple regression models. Data were gathered from 184 students in grades 3 through 8. Examining individual survey items revealed older students were more likely to report that school uniforms help to reduce bullying and teasing. Another statistically significant difference was that some students of high socioeconomic status reported that uniforms help reduce arguments with parents about clothing (t(182) = 2.66, p<.01). Student responses on 10 survey items were grouped into one factor called School Climate, reflecting student perceptions on how uniforms affect the school's climate. Analyses revealed no significant relationships between the School Climate factor and socioeconomic status. However, Hispanic students reported a significantly more positive response overall than non-Hispanic students. These findings suggest students of various socioeconomic status perceive school uniforms similarly, but older students could be more likely to associate uniforms with a reduction in bullying. More research needs to be done in charter schools as little research has been done on school uniforms in charter schools, and among Hispanic students because the participation of Hispanic students was relatively low.



College and Department

David O. McKay School of Education; Teacher Education



Date Submitted


Document Type





school uniforms, dress codes, school policy, socioeconomic status, educational environment