Effects of schooling on aspects of attention in rural Burkina Faso, West Africa
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionPLOS ONE. 2018, 13(9), e0203436 10.1371/journal.pone.0203436
Background We aimed to study the effects of schooling on aspects of attention using the Test of Variables of Attention (TOVA) among children in rural Burkina Faso. Methods We re-enrolled children of a previously community-based cluster randomized exclusive breastfeeding trial in rural Burkina Faso. A total of 534 children (280 boys and 254 girls) aged 6 to 8 years were assessed using the TOVA. We examined the effect size difference using Cohen’s d, ANOVA and conducted regression analyses. Results Forty nine percent of the children were in school. Children not in school performed poorly with a small effect size difference for ‘Response Time’, ‘Errors of omission’, and ‘Errors of commission’ compared to children in school. The effect size difference was moderate for ‘Response Time Variability’, and ‘D prime score’. Conclusion Schooling affects different aspects of attention in rural Burkina Faso. In settings where literacy and schooling rate is low, public sensitizations of the benefits of schooling need to be reinforced and advice on sending children to school need to be provided continuously.