School Disengagement as a Predictor of Dropout, Delinquency, and Problem Substance Use During Adolescence and Early Adulthood
- 6.9k Downloads
Over the past 5 years, a great deal of attention has been paid to the development of early warning systems for dropout prevention. These warning systems use a set of indicators based on official school records to identify youth at risk for dropout and then appropriately target intervention. The current study builds on this work by assessing the extent to which a school disengagement warning index predicts not only dropout but also other problem behaviors during middle adolescence, late adolescence, and early adulthood. Data from the Rochester Youth Development Study (N = 911, 73% male, 68% African American, and 17% Latino) were used to examine the effects of a school disengagement warning index based on official 8th and 9th grade school records on subsequent dropout, as well as serious delinquency, official offending, and problem substance use during middle adolescence, late adolescence, and early adulthood. Results indicate that the school disengagement warning index is robustly related to dropout as well as serious problem behaviors across the three developmental stages, even after controlling for important potential confounders. High school dropout mediates the effect of the warning index on serious problem behaviors in early adulthood.
KeywordsSchool disengagement Delinquency Substance use Urban Development Risk and protective factors
Support for the Rochester Youth Development Study has been provided by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (86-JN-CX-0007), the National Institute on Drug Abuse (R01 DA005512, K01 DA017810), and the National Science Foundation (SBR-9123299, SES-9123299). Work on this project was also aided by grants to the Center for Social and Demographic Analysis at the University at Albany from NICHD (P30-HD32041) and NSF (SBR-9512290). Official arrest data was provided electronically by the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services. Points of view, conclusions, and methodological strategies in this document are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the funding agencies or data sources.
- American Psychiatric Association. (1994). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association.Google Scholar
- Bachman, J. G., O’Malley, P. M., Schulenberg, J. E., Johnston, L. D., Freedman-Doan, P., & Messersmith, E. E. (2008). The education-drug use connection: How successes and failures in school relate to adolescent smoking, drinking, drug use, and delinquency. New York, NY: Taylor & Francis Group/Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
- Editorial Projects in Education Research Center. (2009). National graduation brief 2009. Bethesda, MD: Editorial Projects in Education.Google Scholar
- Elliott, D. S., & Voss, H. L. (1974). Delinquency and dropout. Lexington, MA: D.C. Heath.Google Scholar
- Farrington, D. P. (Ed.). (2005). Integrated developmental and life-course theories of offending: Advances in criminological theory (Vol. 14). New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction.Google Scholar
- Heppen, J. B., & Bowles Therriault, S. (2008). Developing early warning systems. National High School Center. American Research Institues. http://www.betterhighschools.org/pubs/documents/IssueBrief_EarlyWarningSystemsGuide.pdf.
- Herrenkohl, T. I., Hill, K. G., Chung, I., Guo, J., Abbott, R. D., & Hawkins, J. D. (2003). Protective factors against serious violent behavior in adolescence: A prospective study of aggressive children. Social Work Research, 27(3), 179–191.Google Scholar
- Hudson, W. H. (1996). WALMYR assessment scales scoring manual. Tempe, AZ: WALMYR.Google Scholar
- MacKinnon, D. P. (2008). Introduction to statistical mediation analysis. New York, NY: Taylor & Francis Group/Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
- Moretti, E. (2005). Does education reduce participation in criminal activities? In H. M. Levin (Chair), Symposium on the social costs of inadequate education conducted at Teachers College. New York: Columbia University.Google Scholar
- Muennig, P. (2005). Health returns to education interventions. In H. M. Levin (Chair), Symposium on the social costs of inadequate education conducted at Teachers College. New York: Columbia University.Google Scholar
- Muthén, L. K., & Muthén, B. O. (1998–2010). Mplus user’s guide (6th ed.). Los Angeles, CA: Muthén & Muthén.Google Scholar
- Neild, R. C., Balfanz, R., & Herzog, L. (2007). An early warning system. Educational Leadership, 65, 28–33.Google Scholar
- Rouse, C. E. (2005). The labor market consequences of an inadequate education. In H. M. Levin (Chair), Symposium on the social costs of inadequate education conducted at Teachers College. New York: Columbia University.Google Scholar
- Thornberry, T. P., & Krohn, M. D. (2005). Applying interactional theory to the explanation of continuity and change in antisocial behavior. In D. P. Farrington (Ed.), Integrated developmental and life-course theories of offending (pp. 183–209). New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers.Google Scholar
- U. S. Department of Education. (2010). U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). Available online at http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/.
- Waldfogel, J., Garfinkel, I., & Kelly, B. (2005). Public assistance programs: How much could be saved with improved education? In H. M. Levin (Chair), Symposium on the social costs of inadequate education conducted at Teachers College. New York: Columbia University.Google Scholar