A high school education prepares young people to participate positively in the economy and in civic life, among other positive life outcomes. However, nearly one in five American high school students does not graduate from high school on time, if ever. Progress has been made on understanding why students fail to complete high school and on raising graduation rates. Previous reviews and syntheses of this literature have focused on identifying factors that put students at risk for dropping out of school. Less is understood regarding what assets can promote high school graduation. Therefore, we reviewed research from the past 25 years on high school graduation, focusing on longitudinal, US-based studies of malleable factors that predict graduation. Through this systematic search, we identified 12 assets in individual, family, school, peer, and community contexts, which predict high school graduation, as well as identified assets for which more research is needed. Implications for policy and practice and directions for future research are discussed.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Abar, B., Abar, C. C., Lippold, M., Powers, C. J., & Manning, A. E. (2012). Associations between reasons to attend and late high school dropout. Learning and Individual Differences, 22, 856–861. doi:10.1016/j.lindif.2012.05.009.
Agodini, R., & Deke, J. (2004). The relationship between high school vocational education and dropping out. Princeton, NJ: Mathematica Policy Research.
Ahrens, K., DuBois, D. L., Lozano, P., & Richardson, L. P. (2010). Naturally acquired mentoring relationships and young adult outcomes among adolescents with learning disabilities. Learning Disabilities Research and Practice, 25, 201–216. doi:10.1111/j.1540-5826.2010.00318.x.
Allen, J. P., Pianta, R. C., Gregory, A., Mikami, A. Y., & Lun, J. (2011). An interaction-based approach to enhancing secondary school instruction and student achievement. Science, 333, 1034–1037. doi:10.1126/science.1207998.
Appleton, J. J., Christenson, S. L., & Furlong, M. J. (2008). Student engagement with school: critical conceptual and methodological issues of the construct. Psychology in the Schools, 45, 369–386. doi:10.1002/pits.20303.
Arcaira, E., Vile, J. D., & Reisner, E. R. (2010). Achieving high school graduation: citizen schools’ youth outcomes in Boston. Washington, DC: Policy Study Associates.
Balfanz, R., Herzog, L., & McIver, D. J. (2007). Preventing student disengagement and keeping students on the graduation path in urban middle-grades schools: early identification and effective interventions. Educational Psychology, 42, 223–235. doi:10.1080/00461520701621079.
Barile, J. P., Donohue, D. K., Anthony, E. R., Baker, A. M., Weaver, S. R., & Henrich, C. C. (2012). Teacher–student relationship climate and school outcomes: implications for educational policy initiatives. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 41, 256–267. doi:10.1007/s10964-011-9652-8.
Barrow, L., Schanzenbach, D. W., & Claessens, A. (2015). The impact of Chicago’s small high school initiative. Journal of Urban Economics, 87, 100–113.
Belfield, C. R., & Levin, H. M. (2007). The price we pay: economic and social consequences of inadequate education. Washington, DC: The Brookings Institution.
Benson, P. L., Scales, P. C., Hamilton, S. F., & Sesma, A. (2006). Positive youth development: theory, research, and applications. In W. D. Damon & R. M. Lerner (Eds.), The handbook of child psychology (pp. 894–941). Malden: Wiley.
Benson, P. L., Scales, P. C., & Syvertsen, A. K. (2011). The contribution of the developmental assets framework to positive youth development theory and practice. In R. M. Lerner, J. V. Lerner, & J. B. Benson (Eds.), Advances in child development and behavior (pp. 195–228). London: Elsevier.
Blank, M. J., Melaville, A., & Shah, B. P. (2003). Making the difference: research and practice in community schools. Washington, DC: Coalition for Community Schools.
Bloom, H. S., & Unterman, R. (2014). Can small high schools of choice improve educational prospects for disadvantaged students? Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 33, 290–319.
Bloom, H. S., Thompson, S. L., & Unterman, R. (2010). Transforming the high school experience: how New York City’s new small schools are boosting student achievement and graduation rates. New York: MDRC.
Borenstein, M., Hedges, L. V., Higgins, J. P. T., & Rothstein, H. R. (2009). Introduction to meta-analysis. Hoboken: Wiley.
Borman, G. D., & Overman, L. T. (2004). Academic resilience in mathematics among poor and minority students. The Elementary School Journal, 104, 177–195.
Bornstein, M. H. (2002). Handbook of parenting: volume I: children and parenting. Mahwah: Laurence Erlbaum Associates.
Bronfenbrenner, U., & Morris, P. A. (2006). The bioecological model of human development. In W. D. Damon & R. M. Lerner (Eds.), Handbook of child psychology (pp. 894–941). Malden: Wiley.
Brooks, J. E. (2010). School characteristics associated with educational resilience of low-income youth (Doctoral Dissertation). Retrieved from Proquest Dissertations and Theses (UMI# 3445983).
Brooks-Gunn, J., Duncan, G. J., Klebanov, P. K., & Sealand, N. (1993). Do neighborhoods influence child and adolescent development? American Journal of Sociology, 99, 353–395. doi:10.1086/230268.
Bryk, A. S., & Driscoll, M. E. (1988). The high school as community: contextual influences and consequences for students at teachers. Madison: National Center on Effective Schools.
Carlson, J. S., Tiret, H. B., Bender, S. L., & Benson, L. (2011). The influence of group training in the Incredible Years Teacher Classroom Management Program on preschool teachers’ classroom management strategies. Journal of Applied School Psychology, 27, 134–154. doi:10.1080/15377903.2011.565277.
Carpenter, D. M., & Ramirez, A. (2007). More than one gap: dropout rate gaps between and among Black, Hispanic, and White students. Journal of Advanced Academics, 19, 32–64. doi:10.4219/jaa-2007-705.
Cerasoli, C. P., Nicklin, J. M., & Ford, M. T. (2014). Intrinsic motivation and extrinsic incentives jointly predict performance: a 40-year meta-analysis. Psychological Bulletin, 140(4), 980–1008.
Cohen, J. (1988). Statistical power analysis for the social sciences. Hillsdale: Erlbaum.
Connell, J. P., Halpem-Felsher, B. L., Clifford, E., Crichlow, W., & Usinger, P. (1995). Hanging in there: behavioral, psychological, and contextual factors affecting whether African-American adolescents stay in high school. Journal of Adolescent Research, 10, 41–63. doi:10.1177/0743554895101004.
Corsello, M., & Sharma, A. (2015). The building assets-reducing risks program: Replication and expansion of an effective strategy to turn around low-achieving schools i3 Development Grant Final Report. Minneapolis, MN: BARR.
Covington, M. V. (2000). Goal theory, motivation, and school achievement: an integrative review. Annual Review of Psychology, 51, 171–200. doi:10.1146/annurev.psych.51.1.171.
Crain, R. L., Allen, A., Thaler, R., Sullivan, D., Zellman, G. L., Little, J. W., & Quigley, D. D. (1999). the effects of academic career magnet education on high schools and their graduates. Berkeley, CA: National Center for Research in Vocational Education.
Croninger, R. G., & Lee, V. E. (2001). Social capital and dropping out of high school: benefits to at-risk students of teachers’ support and guidance. Teachers College Record, 103, 548–581. doi:10.1111/0161-4681.00127.
Daun-Barnett, N., & St. John, E. P. (2012). Constrained curriculum in high schools: the changing math standards and student achievement, high school graduation and college continuation. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 20, 1–25. doi:10.14507/epaa.v20n5.2012.
DeLuca, S., & Dayton, E. (2009). Switching social contexts: the effects of housing mobility and school choice programs on youth outcomes. Annual Sociology Review, 35, 457–491. doi:10.1146/annurev-soc-070308-120032.
DiPaoli, J. L., Fox, J. H., Ingram, E. S., Maushard, M., Bridgeland, J. M., & Balfanz, R. (2015). Building a Grad Nation: progress and challenge in ending the high school dropout epidemic. Washington, DC: America’s Promise Alliance.
Driscoll, A. K. (1999). Risk of high school dropout among immigrant and native Hispanic youth. International Migration Review, 33, 857–875. doi:10.2307/2547355.
Durlak, J. A., Weissberg, R. P., & Pachan, M. (2010). A meta-analysis of after-school programs that seek to promote personal and social skills in children and adolescents. American Journal of Community Psychology, 45, 294–309. doi:10.1007/s10464-010-9300-6.
Eccles, J., & Gootman, J. A. (2002). Community programs to promote youth development. Washington, DC: National Academy of Sciences.
Eccles, J. S., & Wigfield, A. (2002). Motivational beliefs, values, and goals. Annual Review of Psychology, 53, 109–132. doi:10.1146/annurev.psych.53.100901.135153.
Elliott, M. N., Hanser, L. M., & Gilroy, C. L. (2002). Career academies: additional evidence of positive student outcomes. Journal of Education for Students Students Placed At Risk, 7, 71–90.
Ellis, P. D. (2010). The essential guide to effect sizes, statistical power, meta-analysis, and the interpretation of results. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Englund, M. M., Egeland, B., & Collins, W. A. (2008). Exceptions to high school dropout predictions in a low-income sample: do adults make a difference? Journal of Social Issues, 64, 77–94. doi:10.1111/j.1540-4560.2008.00549.x.
Erickson, L. D., & Phillips, J. W. (2012). The effects of religious-based mentoring on educational attainment: more than just a spiritual high? Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 51, 568–587. doi:10.1111/j.1468-5906.2012.01661.x.
Fall, A. M., & Roberts, G. (2012). High school dropouts: interactions between social context, self-perceptions, school engagement, and student dropout. Journal of Adolescence, 35, 787–798. doi:10.1016/j.adolescence.2011.11.004.
Feinberg, M. E., Greenberg, M. T., Osgoode, D. W., Sartorius, J., & Bontempo, D. (2007). Effects of the communities that care model in Pennsylvania on youth risk and problem behaviors. Prevention Science, 8, 261–270. doi:10.1007/s11121-007-0073-6.
Finn, J. D., & Rock, D. A. (1997). Academic success among students at risk for school failure. Journal of Applied Psychology, 82, 221–234. doi:10.1037/0021-9010.82.2.221.
George, R., Cusick, G. R., Wasserman, M., & Gladden, R. M. (2007). After-school programs and academic impact: a study of Chicago’s after school matters (Report # 112). Chicago: Chapin Hall Center for Children.
Gest, S. D., Rulison, K. L., Davidson, A. J., & Welsh, J. A. (2008). A reputation for success (or failure): the association of peer academic reputations with academic self-concept, effort, and performance across the upper elementary grades. Developmental Psychology, 44, 625–636. doi:10.1037/0012-1622.214.171.1245.
Greenberg, M. T., Weissberg, R. P., Obrien, M. U., Zins, J. E., Fredericks, L., Resnik, H., & Elias, M. J. (2003). Enhancing school-based prevention and youth development through coordinated social, emotional, and academic learning. American Psychologist, 58, 466–474. doi:10.1037/0003-066X.58.6-7.466.
Grusec, J. E., & Davidov, M. (2007). Socialization in the family: the role of parents. In J. E. Grusec & P. D. Hastings (Eds.), Handbook of socialization: theory and research. New York: The Guilford Press.
Hahn, A., Leavitt, T., & Aaron, P. (1994). Evaluation of the quantum opportunities program? Did the program work? A report on the post-secondary outcomes and cost effectiveness of the QOP Program. Waltham: Brandeis University Center for Human Resources.
Hammond, C., Linton, D., Smink, J., & Drew, S. (2007). Dropout risk factors and exemplary programs: a technical report. Clemson: National Dropout Prevention Center.
Harlow, K., & Baenen, N. (2001). The effectiveness of the Wake Summerbridge summer enrichment program (E & R Report No. 01.47). Raleigh: Wake County Public School System.
Hawkins, J. D. (2006). Science, social work, prevention: finding the intersections. Social Work Research, 30, 137–152. doi:10.1093/swr/30.3.137.
Hawkins, J. D., Catalano, R. F., & Kuklinski, M. R. (2012). Communities that care: bridging science and community practice to prevent adolescent health and behavior problems including violence. In D. M. Patel & R. M. Taylor (Eds.), Social and economic costs of violence. Washington, DC: National Academies Press.
Hayes, G. L. (1998) An evaluation of a staff mentor program for at risk students in an Oregon high school: CAKE (caring for kids effectively) (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from Proquest Dissertations and Theses (UMI # 9834861).
Hayward, B. J., & Tallmadge, G. K. (1995). Strategies for keeping kids in school: Evaluation of dropout prevention and reentry projects in vocational education. Final Report. Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office.
Heckman, J. J. (2008). Schools, skills, and synapses. Economic Inquiry, 46, 289–324. doi:10.1111/j.1465-7295.2008.00163.x.
Hernandez, D. J., & Napierala, J. S. (2014). Early education, poverty, and parental circumstances among Hispanic children: pointing toward needed public policies. Association of Mexican American Educators Journal, 7, 30–39.
Hess, R. S., & Copeland, E. P. (2001). Students’ stress, coping strategies, and school completion: a longitudinal perspective. School Psychology Quarterly, 16, 389–405. doi:10.1521/scpq.16.4.389.19899.
Hill, N. E., & Tyson, D. F. (2009). Parental involvement in middle school: a meta-analytic assessment of the strategies that promote achievement. Developmental Psychology, 45, 740–763. doi:10.1037/a0015362.
Hurd, N. M., Sánchez, B., Zimmerman, M. A., & Caldwell, C. H. (2012). Natural mentors, racial identity, and educational attainment among African American adolescents: exploring pathways to success. Child Development, 83, 1196–1212. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8624.2012.01769.x.
Jeynes, W. (2012). A meta-analysis of the efficacy of different types of parental involvement programs for urban students. Urban Education, 47, 706–742. doi:10.1177/0042085912445643.
Jimerson, S., Egeland, B., Sroufe, L. A., & Carlson, B. (2000). A prospective longitudinal study of high school dropouts examining multiple predictors across development. Journal of School Psychology, 38, 525–549. doi:10.1016/S0022-4405(00)00051-0.
Jimerson, S. R., Ferguson, P., Whipple, A. D., Anderson, G. E., & Dalton, M. J. (2002). Exploring the association between grade retention and dropout: a longitudinal study examining socio-emotional, behavioral, and achievement characteristics of retained students. The California School Psychologist, 7, 51–62. doi:10.1007/BF03340889.
Kemple, J. J., & Snipes, J. C. (2000). Career Academies: impacts on students’ engagement and performance in high school. New York: MDRC.
Kulik, J. A. (1998). Curricular tracks and high school vocational education. In A. Gamoran (Ed.), The quality of vocational education: background papers from the 1994 national assessment of vocational education. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education.
Lee, V. E., & Burkam, D. T. (2003). Dropping out of high school: the role of school organization and structure. American Educational Research Journal, 40, 353–393. doi:10.3102/00028312040002353.
Lee, V. E., & Smith, J. B. (1997). High school size: which works best and for whom? Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 19, 205–227.
Lerner, R. M. (2012). Developmental science: past, present, and future. International Journal of Developmental Science, 6, 29–36. doi:10.3233/DEV-2012-12102.
Lerner, J. V., Phelps, E., Forman, Y. E., & Bowers, E. P. (2009). Positive youth development. In R. M. Lerner & L. Steinberg (Eds.), Handbook of adolescent psychology. Malden: Wiley.
Leventhal, T., Dupéré, V., & Brooks-Gunn, J. (2009). Neighborhood influences on adolescent development. In R. M. Lerner & L. Steinberg (Eds.), Handbook of adolescent psychology (3rd ed., pp. 411–443). New York: Wiley.
Levesque, K., Laird, J., Hensley, E., Choy, S. P., Cataldi, E. F., & Hudson, L. (2008). Career and technical education in the United States: 1990 to 2005. Statistical Analysis Report. NCES 2008-035. National Center for Education Statistics.
Mahoney, J. L. (2000). School extracurricular activity participation as a moderator in the development of antisocial patterns. Child Development, 71, 502–516. doi:10.1111/1467-8624.00160.
Mahoney, J. L., & Cairns, R. B. (1997). Do extracurricular activities protect against early school dropout? Developmental Psychology, 33, 241–253. doi:10.1037/0012-16126.96.36.199.
Mahoney, J., Cairns, B. D., & Farmer, T. W. (2003). Promoting interpersonal competence and educational success through extracurricular activity participation. Journal of Educational Psychology, 95, 409–418. doi:10.1037/0022-06188.8.131.529.
Maxwell, N. L., & Rubin, V. (1997). The relative impact of a career academy on post-secondary work and education skills in urban, public high schools. Hayward, CA: Human Investment Research and Education Center, California State University.
McNeal, R. B. (1995). Extracurricular activities and high school dropouts. Sociology of Education, 68, 62–80. doi:10.2307/2112764.
Miller, D. C., & Warren, L. K. (2011). Comparative indicators of education in the United States and 0ther G-8 countries: 2011 (NCES 2011-007). Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics.
Muller, C., & Schiller, K. S. (2000). Leveling the playing field? Students’ educational attainment and states’ performance testing. Sociology of Education, 73, 196–218. doi:10.2307/2673216.
Myers, D., & Schirm, A. (1999). The impacts of upward bound: phase I of the national evaluation (MPR Ref # 8046-515). Washington, DC: Mathematica Policy Research.
Myers, D., Olsen, R., Seftor, N., Young, J., & Tuttle, C. (2004). The impacts of regular upward bound: results from the third follow-up data collection (MPR Ref # 8464-600). Washington, DC: Mathematica Policy Research.
Nathan, A. (2013). Does upward bound have an effect on student educational outcomes? A reanalysis of the Horizons Randomized Controlled Trial Study. (Doctoral Dissertation). Retrieved from ProQuest Dissertations and Theses. (UMI #3560135).
Nover, A., Godsay, S., Kirby, E. H., & Kawashima-Ginsberg, K. (2010). Electoral engagement and college experience. Medford: Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement.
Nye, C., Turner, H., & Schwartz, J. (2006). Approaches to parent involvement for improving the academic performance of elementary school age children: a systematic review. Campbell Systematic Reviews, 2, 2–49. doi:10.4073/csr.2006.4.
O’Connor, S. M. (1995). Evaluation of a mentoring program for youth at-risk. (Doctoral Dissertation). Retrieved from Proquest Dissertations and Theses. (Order # 9517983).
Olson, J. M., Roese, N. J., & Zanna, M. P. (1996). Expectancies. In E. T. Higgins & A. W. Kruglanski (Eds.), Social psychology: handbook of basic principles (pp. 211–238). New York: Guilford Press.
Ou, S. R., & Reynolds, A. J. (2008). Predictors of educational attainment in the Chicago Longitudinal Study. School Psychology Quarterly, 23, 199–229. doi:10.1037/1045-38184.108.40.206.
Pallardy, G. J. (2013). High school socioeconomic segregation and student attainment. American Educational Research Journal, 50, 714–754. doi:10.3102/0002831213481240.
Payton, J., Weissberg, R. P., Durlak, J. A., Dymnicki, A. B., Taylor, R. D., Schellinger, K. B., & Pachan, M. (2008). The positive impact of social and emotional learning for kindergarten to eighth-grade students. Chicago: Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning.
Pellerin, L. A. (2005). Applying Baumrind’s parenting typology to high schools: toward a middle-range theory of authoritative socialization. Social Science Research, 34, 283–303. doi:10.1016/j.ssresearch.2004.02.003.
Pintrich, P. R. (2003). A motivational science perspective on the role of student motivation in learning and teaching contexts. Journal of Educational Psychology, 95, 667–686.
Pittman, K. J., Irby, M., Tolman, J., Yohalem, N., & Ferber, T. (2005). Preventing problems, promoting development, encouraging engagement competing priorities or inseparable goals? Washington, DC: The Forum for Youth Investment.
Plank, S. (2001). Career and technical education in the balance: An analysis of high school persistence, academic achievement, and postsecondary destinations. St. Paul, MN: National Research Center for Career and Technical Education, University of Minnesota.
Plank, S. B., DeLuca, S., & Estacion, A. (2008). High school dropout and the role of career and technical education: A survival analysis of surviving high school. Sociology of Education, 81, 345–370.
Poulin, F., Dishion, T. J., & Haas, E. (1999). The peer influence paradox: Friendship quality and deviancy training within male adolescent friendships. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 45, 42–61.
Putnam, R. (2015). Our kids: the American dream in crisis. New York: Simon & Schuster.
Randolph, K. A., Fraser, M. W., & Orthner, D. K. (2004). Educational resilience among youth at risk. Substance Use & Misuse, 39, 747–767. doi:10.1081/JA-120034014.
Rasinski, K. A., & Pedlow S. (1994). Using transcripts to study the effectiveness of vocational education. Journal of Vocational Education Research, 19, 23–43.
Ream, R. K., & Rumberger, R. W. (2008). Student engagement, peer social capital, and school dropout among Mexican-American and Non-Latino White students. Sociology of Education, 81, 109–139.
Rivera-Batiz, F. L. (2003). The impact of school-to-work programs on minority youth employment and student outcomes. In W. J. Stull & N. M. Sanders (Eds.), The school to work movement: origins and destinations. Westport: Praeger Publishers.
Rodriguez-Planas, N. (2012). Mentoring, educational services, and incentives to learn: what do we know about them? Evaluation and Program Planning, 34, 481–490. doi:10.1016/j.evalprogplan.2012.02.004.
Ross, C. E., & Broh, B. A. (2000). The roles of self-esteem and the sense of personal control in the academic achievement process. Sociology of Education, 73, 270–284. doi:10.2307/2673234.
Rueger, S. Y., Malecki, C. K., & Demaray, M. K. (2010). Relationship between multiple sources of perceived social support and psychological and academic adjustment in early adolescence: comparisons across gender. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 39, 47–61. doi:10.1007/s10964-008-9368-6.
Rumberger, R. W. (1995). Dropping out of middle school: a multilevel analysis of students and schools. American Educational Research Journal, 32, 583–625. doi:10.2307/1163325.
Rumberger, R. W., & Lim, S. A. (2008). Why students drop out of school: a review of 25 years of research. Santa Barbara: California Dropout Research Project.
Ryabov, I. (2011). Adolescent outcomes in school context: network effects reexamined. Journal of Adolescence, 34, 915–927. doi:10.1016/j.adolescence.2010.12.004.
Ryan, A. M. (2001). The peer group as a context for the development of young adolescents’ motivation and achievement. Child Development, 72, 1135–1150. doi:10.1111/1467-8624.00338.
Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2000). Self-determination theory and the facilitation of intrinsic motivation, social development, and well-being. American Psychologist, 55, 68–78. doi:10.1037/0003-066X.55.1.68.
Schirm, A., Stuart, E., & McKie, A. (2006). The Quantum Opportunities Program demonstration: final impacts (MPR Ref # 8279-932). Washington, DC: Mathematica Policy Research.
Schwartz, A. E., Stiefel, L., & Wiswall, M. (2013). Do small schools improve performance in large, urban districts? Causal evidence from New York City. Journal of Urban Economics, 77, 27–40.
Skinner, E., Furrer, C., Marchand, G., & Kinderman, T. (2008). Engagement and disaffection in the classroom: part of a larger motivational dynamic? Journal of Educational Psychology, 100, 765–781. doi:10.1037/a0012840.
Spencer, M. B. (2006). Phenomenology and ecological systems theory: development of diverse groups. In R. M. Lerner & W. Damon (Eds.), Handbook of child psychology (6th ed.): vol 1, theoretical models of human development (pp. 829–893). Hoboken: Wiley.
Spoth, R., Redmond, C., Shin, C., & Azevedo, K. (2004). Brief family intervention effects on adolescent substance initiation: school-level growth curve analyses 6 years following baseline. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 72, 535–542.
Stearns, E., Moller, S., Blau, J., & Potochnick, S. (2007). Staying back and dropping out: the relationship between grade retention and school dropout. Sociology of Education, 80, 210–240. doi:10.1177/003804070708000302.
Stein, G. L., & Hussong, A. (2007). Social and academic expectations about high school for at-risk rural youth. American Secondary Education, 36, 59–79.
Steinberg, L. (2001). We know some things: adolescent-parent relationships in retrospect and prospect. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 11, 1–20. doi:10.1111/1532-7795.00001.
Stone, S. (2006). Correlates of change in student reported parent involvement in schooling: a new look at the National Education Longitudinal Study of 1988. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 76, 518–530. doi:10.1037/0002-94220.127.116.118.
Strayhorn, T. L. (2010). The role of schools, families, and psychological variables on math achievement of black high school students. The High School Journal, 93, 177–194. doi:10.1353/hsj.2010.0003.
Suh, S., Suh, J., & Houston, I. (2007). Predictors of categorical at‐risk high school dropouts. Journal of Counseling & Development, 85, 196–203. doi:10.1002/j.1556-6678.2007.tb00463.x.
Sum, A., Khatiwada, I., & McLaughlin, J. (2009). The consequences of dropping out of high school: joblessness and jailing for high school dropouts and the high cost for taxpayers (Paper # 23). Boston: Center for Labor Market Studies Publications.
Teachman, J. D., Paasch, K., & Carver, K. (1997). Social capital and the generation of human capital. Social Forces, 75, 1343–1359. doi:10.1093/sf/75.4.1343.
Tenenbaum, H. R., Porche, M. V., Snow, C. E., Tabors, P., & Ross, S. (2007). Maternal and child predictors of low-income children’s educational attainment. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 28, 227–238. doi:10.1016/j.appdev.2007.02.002.
Tyler, J. H., & Lofstrom, M. (2009). Finishing high school: alternative pathways and dropout recovery. The Future of Children, 19, 77–103. doi:10.1353/foc.0.0019.
Ungar, M. (2011). The social ecology of resilience: addressing contextual and cultural ambiguity of a nascent construct. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 81, 1–17. doi:10.1111/j.1939-0025.2010.01067.x.
Veenstra, R., Dijkstra, J., Steglich, C., & van Zalk, M. W. (2013). Network-behavior dynamics. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 23, 399–412. doi:10.1111/jora.12070.
Wang, M. T., & Eccles, J. S. (2012). Adolescent behavioral, emotional, and cognitive engagement trajectories in school and their differential relations to educational success. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 22, 31–39. doi:10.1111/j.1532-7795.2011.00753.x.
Wang, M. T., & Fredericks, J. (2014). The reciprocal links between school engagement, youth problem behaviors, and school dropout during adolescence. Child Development, 85, 722–737. doi:10.1111/cdev.12138.
Wang, M. T., & Holcombe, R. (2010). Adolescents’ perceptions of school environment, engagement, and academic achievement in middle school. American Educational Research Journal, 47, 638–662. doi:10.3102/0002831209361209.
Welner, K. G., & Carter, P. L. (2013). Achievement gaps arise from opportunity gaps. In P. L. Carter & K. G. Welner (Eds.), Closing the opportunity gap: what America must do to give every child an even chance (pp. 169–180). New York: Oxford University Press.
Wentzel, K. R., & Wigfield, A. (1998). Academic and social motivational influences on students’ academic performance. Educational Psychology Review, 10, 155–175. doi:10.1023/A:1022137619834.
Wentzel, K. R., Barry, C. M., & Caldwell, K. A. (2004). Friendships in middle school: influences on motivation and school adjustment. Journal of Educational Psychology, 96, 195–203. doi:10.1037/0022-0618.104.22.168.
Wentzel, K. R., Donlan, A. E., & Morrison, D. (2012). Peer relationships and social motivational processes. In A. M. Ryan & G. W. Ladd (Eds.), Peer relationships and adjustment at schools. Charlotte: Information Age.
Zaff, J. F., & Smerdon, B. (2009). Putting children front and center: building coordinated social policy for America’s children. Applied Developmental Science, 13, 105–118. doi:10.1080/10888690903041469.
Zaff, J. F., Donlan, A. E., Pufall Jones, E., & Lin, E. S. (2015). Supportive developmental systems for children and youth: a theoretical framework for comprehensive community initiatives. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology. doi:10.1016/j.appdev.2015.03.004.
Zaff, J. F., Donlan, A. E., Pufall Jones, E., Lin, E. S., & Anderson, S. (2016). Comprehensive community initiatives creating supporting youth systems. In J. F. Zaff, E. Pufall Jones, A. E. Donlan, & S. Anderson (Eds.), Comprehensive community initiatives for positive youth development. New York: Taylor & Francis.
Zimmerman, M. A., & Schmeelk-Cone, K. H. (2003). A longitudinal analysis of adolescent substance use and school motivation among African American youth. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 13, 185–210. doi:10.1111/1532-7795.1302003.
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
About this article
Cite this article
Zaff, J.F., Donlan, A., Gunning, A. et al. Factors that Promote High School Graduation: a Review of the Literature. Educ Psychol Rev 29, 447–476 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10648-016-9363-5