this study assessed the academic performance of 30 children in pairs: 15 children exposed to marital violence attending elementary school and 15 children not exposed to violence, of the same gender and age chosen in the same classes of their respective pairs. the teachers answered the academic performance rating scale (aprs), and supplied a copy of the children's grades. the academic performance test (tde) was used to assess the academic skills in which the children had difficulties. the results pointed out that, from 15 children exposed to violence, 14 had witnessed at least one episode of aggression towards their mother and seven were living in an violent environment for more than five years. aprs test results were significantly lower for the group of exposed children, with an average of 52.9 points against 67.8 from the group of non-exposed children. in the school grades and tde test the differences were not significant.