Effect of gender and nutritional status on academic achievement and cognitive function among primary school children in a rural district in Malaysia

Jan Mohamed Hamid Jan, Amal K. Mitra, H. Hasmiza, C. D. Pim, L. O. Ng, W. M. Wan Manan

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    16 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Introduction: The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between gender, birth weight, nutritional status, and iron status of children with their academic performance and cognitive function. Methods: Two hundred and fortynine children, seven to nine years of age, were recruited by systematic sampling from six primary schools in a rural area in Malaysia. Cognitive function was assessed by using Raven's Coloured Progressive Matrices (R-CPM). Academic performance of the children was recorded from their school final examination results in four subjects including Malay language, English, Mathematics, and Science. Birth weight was recorded from the birth certificate, and nutritional status was determined by weight-for-age z score and height-for-age z score. Results: Girls had a significantly higher score in all the academic tests, but a lower cognitive score compared to boys. Nutritional status was found to be correlated significantly with academic performance. Academic and cognitive function scores were also found to be correlated significantly with birth weight, parents' education, and family income. In a multivariate analysis, gender remained the significant predictor of academic function, and iron status and haemoglobin were the significant predictors of cognitive function, after controlling for other variables. Conclusion: The study showed that girls performed better academically than boys in rural Malaysia. Nutritional status, parents' education and family income could be additional modifiable factors to improve academic performance of the children. More attention is needed to improve academic achievements of boys at their early school years.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)189-200
    Number of pages12
    JournalMalaysian Journal of Nutrition
    Volume17
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2011

    Fingerprint

    academic achievement
    elementary schools
    school children
    Malaysia
    Nutritional Status
    cognition
    Cognition
    nutritional status
    Birth Weight
    parent education
    gender
    birth weight
    household income
    Iron
    Parents
    Birth Certificates
    Education
    Crows
    Mathematics
    iron

    Keywords

    • Academic performance
    • Birth weight
    • Cognitive function
    • Gender
    • Iron status

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Nutrition and Dietetics
    • Food Science

    Cite this

    Effect of gender and nutritional status on academic achievement and cognitive function among primary school children in a rural district in Malaysia. / Hamid Jan, Jan Mohamed; Mitra, Amal K.; Hasmiza, H.; Pim, C. D.; Ng, L. O.; Wan Manan, W. M.

    In: Malaysian Journal of Nutrition, Vol. 17, No. 2, 2011, p. 189-200.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Hamid Jan, Jan Mohamed ; Mitra, Amal K. ; Hasmiza, H. ; Pim, C. D. ; Ng, L. O. ; Wan Manan, W. M. / Effect of gender and nutritional status on academic achievement and cognitive function among primary school children in a rural district in Malaysia. In: Malaysian Journal of Nutrition. 2011 ; Vol. 17, No. 2. pp. 189-200.
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