The impact of a mine fire and smoke event on academic outcomes for primary and secondary school students

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OBJECTIVE: This study explored how exposure to a mine fire and smoke event influenced students' academic outcomes. METHOD: The academic results for 303 students (aged 7.8-16.2 years) were accessed and students completed the Children's Revised Impact of Events Scale to measure their level of distress resulting from the mine fire. RESULTS: The longitudinal analysis found that secondary students, who attended schools in the town most exposed to particulate matter from the mine fire, experienced an 18.5-month delay in academic progress (95% CI [13.6, 23.5]) after the mine fire, relative to the wider area. No evidence was found in academic delays related to exposure to the mine fire among primary school students. There was also no evidence of additional delays in academic progress for students with higher levels of event-related distress. CONCLUSIONS: Schools should monitor and provide academic support to students to protect them against academic decline after a disaster. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2023 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)210-218
Number of pages9
JournalPsychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2023

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