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School Health Research Library

We have curated a library of peer-reviewed scientific studies from around the world published since 2016, focusing on the school built environment and occupant health and performance. This research builds on the 2017 Schools for Health: Foundations for Student Success report released by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health that synthesizes foundational research about school indoor environmental quality impacts on students and staff.

To help translate this research into action in schools, we have compiled School Health Research Highlights to help school staff and leaders access key findings and actionable strategies on priority topics.

Displaying 31 - 40 of 284 | Export entire research library

Profiling Indian classroom listening conditions in schools for children with hearing impairment

Saravanan, Gomathi

The mean noise level and reverberation time in all classrooms exceeded recommended maximum levels. The measured SNRs were not optimal for children with hearing impairment. Observations of the classrooms revealed that acoustical treatments were…

Keywords: Acoustics, Classroom noise, Hearing loss, India, Reverberation, Schools for the deaf, Teacher voice


Perceived listening difficulty in the classroom, not measured noise levels, is associated with fatigue in children with and without hearing loss

Gustafson, Samatha

Higher perceived listening difficulty was the only
predictor variable that was associated with greater self-
reported fatigue.



Fungal spore richness in school classrooms is related to surrounding forest in a season-dependent manner

Minahan, Nicholas

Fungal spore richness in schools had a strong positive correlation with the amount of surrounding forest cover during the cool
season, but not during the hot season. Fungal assemblages in schools were more similar during the hot season due to…

Keywords: Aeroallergen, Airborne fungi, Amplicon sequencing, Dispersal, Indoors, Passive sampling


Investigating listening effort in classrooms for 5- to 7-year-old children

Prodi, Nicola

It was found that when background noise
was present, the pupils' performance decreased, and
greater RTs were required compared to the “quiet
classroom” condition. When the RTs were analyzed
over the course of the…



A preliminary investigation of sound-field amplification as an inclusive classroom adjustment for children with and without Autism Spectrum Disorder

Wilson, Wayne

Potential proximate benefits were observed for all students with teachers rating student listening behaviours higher with SFA versus without SFA. Potential distant benefits were observed for students with ASD who showed greater improvements in one…

Keywords: Sound field amplification (sfa), Autism spectrum disorder (ASD), Listening, Attention, Memory, Phonological processing, Educational achievement


Inverse relationship between urban green space and childhood autism in California elementary school districts

Wu, Jianyong

We observed inverse associations between several green space metrics and autism prevalence in school districts with high road density, the highly urbanized areas, but not in others. These results suggest that increases of 10% in forest, grassland,…

Keywords: Air pollution, Autism spectrum disorder (ASD), Greenness, Near-road tree canopy, School children


The effects of classroom noise on the reading comprehension of adolescents

Connolly, Daniel

results showed that the performance of all pupils was significantly negatively affected in the 70 dB condition, for the number of questions attempted and the accuracy of answers to factual and word learning questions. It was harder to…



Children's effortful control skills, but not their prosocial skills, relate to their reactions to classroom noise

Jessica Massonie

Prosocial skills
were not related to children’s reactions to noise. However, children with lower effortful control skills
reported more negative reactions to classroom noise. Given the importance of effortful control skills

Keywords: Noise, Noise sensitivity, Health, Children, Classrooms, Attention, Distraction, Annoyance, Temperament, Prosocial skills


The effect of noise on attention and performance in reading and writing tasks

Fernandes, Renata

The higher the score on the Sustained Attention Test, the shorter the time spent reading
and fewer errors in the dictation task. There were no differences across the three grades within the GEA (lower
levels of noise) with regard to the…

Keywords: Attention, Handwriting, Learning, Noise, Reading


Relevant work factors associated with voice disorders in early childhood teachers: A comparison between kindergarten and elementary school teachers in Yangchen, China

Tao, Yaping

Our results indicated, based on the Voice Handicap Index scale (VHI-10, China), that the prevalence of voice disorders in early childhood teachers was 59.7%, while that in elementary school teachers (65.5%) was significantly higher than that in…

Keywords: Vocal load, Network questionnaire, Voice handicap index, Daily class hours, Types of voice usage