The Urban Review

, Volume 51, Issue 5, pp 816–844 | Cite as

Self-Efficacy, Dropout Status, and the Role of In-School Experiences Among Urban, Young Adult School-Leavers and Non-leavers

  • Tara M. BrownEmail author
  • Claudia Galindo
  • Bradley Quarles
  • Alice LaRue Joy Cook


High school non-completion remains a stubborn reality in urban communities where low-income people of color are concentrated, putting young adults at risk for long-term economic instability. Research shows that self-efficacy positively affects school outcomes and that in-school experiences influence school completion. However, little is known about the joint effects of self-efficacy and aspects of the school context on school-leaving. This study gathered data from a sample of 200 young adults recruited through a participatory action research project in a low-income, predominantly Latina/o urban community. Using descriptive and inferential statistical analyses, this study examines relationships between academic and general self-efficacy, dropout status (non-leavers, temporary-leavers, and permanent-leavers), and school context. Results showed few differences between temporary- and permanent-leavers, although leavers had lower academic self-efficacy but higher general self-efficacy than non-leavers. Moreover, grades and caring relations with adults explained the difference in self-efficacy by dropout status. This article discusses implications for research and practices on school completion, particularly for young adults living low-income, racially/ethnically minoritized urban communities.


Dropout School-leavers Self-efficacy Young adults 



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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tara M. Brown
    • 1
    Email author
  • Claudia Galindo
    • 1
  • Bradley Quarles
    • 1
  • Alice LaRue Joy Cook
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Teaching and Learning, Policy and Leadership, College of EducationUniversity of MarylandCollege ParkUSA

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