Revista Brasileira de Psiquiatria
versão On-line ISSN 1809-452X
TRAMONTINA, Silzá et al. Estimated mental retardation and school dropout in a sample of students from state public schools in Porto Alegre, Brazil. Rev. Bras. Psiquiatr. [online]. 2002, vol.24, n.4, pp.177-181. ISSN 1809-452X. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1516-44462002000400006.
OBJECTIVES: To assess the association between estimated Mental Retardation (MR) and school dropout in a sample of students of the third and fourth grades at state schools in Porto Alegre, the capital of the southernmost state of Brazil. METHOD: In this case - control study, students that dropped out from schools (n=44) and a control group who continued attending schools (n=44) had their intelligence quotient (IQ) determined by the vocabulary and cubes subtests of the Wescheler Intelligence Scale ¾ third edition (WISC¾III). Students with IQ lower than 70 were considered as potential cases of MR. Other prevalent mental disorders in this age range were assessed in both groups using the Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia for School¾ Age Children, Epidemiological Version (K-SADS-E). RESULTS: The prevalence of potential MR was significantly higher in the dropped out group than in the control group (p<0.001). Odds ratio for school dropout was significantly higher in the presence of MR even after controlling for potentially confounding factors (age, conduct disorder, grade repetition, family structure and income) (p<0.01). CONCLUSION: Children with IQ lower than 70 (potential MR) were at higher risk for school dropout. These children need to be identified at school and specific educational strategies should be implemented to assure their inclusion in the learning process.
Palavras-chave : School dropouts; Mental retardation; absenteeism; Students.