Skip navigation

How Cognitive and Psychosocial Difficulties Affect Learning Outcomes: A Study of Primary School Children in Syria

Authors: Anyaegbu, Grace
Carney, Caroline
Howell, Holly-Jane
Zaza, Alaa
Alaeddin, Abdulkader
Keywords: psychological health;emotional wellbeing;learning outcomes;psychosocial support;PSS;education in emergencies;EiE;Syria;primary school children
Issue Date: Mar-2022
Publisher: Inter-agency Network for Education in Emergencies
Series/Report no.: Volume 8;Number 1
Abstract: Meeting the educational needs of children in emergencies is increasingly recognized as a necessary part of humanitarian response in emergencies. Experience of war, dislocation, and trauma is known to influence children’s psychosocial wellbeing. Less is known about how mental health and psychosocial wellbeing affect children’s learning in emergencies. In this article, we examine this effect among children experiencing the crisis in Syria. The data we use are from children (N=7,191) who received educational support in northwest Syria from November 2018 to May 2019. We used the literacy levels reported by teachers to measure student learning, and the Washington Group questions to measure cognitive or psychosocial difficulties. The average length of time between moving up a literacy level was 64 days. We fit mixed ordinal models to assess the associations between having one, every, or multiple cognitive and psychosocial difficulties. Having a single cognitive or psychosocial difficulty was associated with poorer learning progress. Children with two or more cognitive or psychosocial difficulties were less likely to progress as far as those without any such difficulties. The findings suggest that psychosocial and cognitive support for children in emergencies is needed not just for their wellbeing but to enable them to learn effectively.
ISSN: 2518-6833
Rights: The Journal on Education in Emergencies, published by the Inter-agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE), is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.
Appears in Collections:Volume 8, Number 1

Items in FDA are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.