Dropping out of college and dropping into crime


Dennison, C. R. (2020). Dropping out of college and dropping into crime. Justice Quarterly. pp. 27


Although researchers have examined whether dropping out of high school is related to crime, very few have studied college dropouts. It has been argued that dropping out of high school leads to minimal changes in crime since dropouts were already delinquent before leaving school. Among college dropouts, however, individuals who select into college are conceivably least delinquent; therefore, dropping out might indeed represent a negative life course transition. Against this backdrop, data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health are used to examine the relationship between dropping out of college and changes in crime between adolescence and young adulthood. Most broadly, results show that dropping out of college is positively related to crime across the life course. This association is also moderated by one's propensity to complete college, whereby those most likely to attain a degree, but who ultimately drop out, exhibit the largest increases in crime.




School dropout


ISI Document Delivery No.: LD8ZR Times Cited: 0 Cited Reference Count: 68 Dennison, Christopher R. Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human DevelopmentUnited States Department of Health & Human ServicesNational Institutes of Health (NIH) - USANIH Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD) [P01-HD31921] This research uses data from Add Health, a program project designed by J. Richard Udry, Peter S. Bearman, and Kathleen Mullan Harris, and funded by a grant P01-HD31921 from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, with cooperative funding from 17 other agencies. Special acknowledgment is due Ronald R. Rindfuss and Barbara Entwisle for assistance in the original design. Persons interested in obtaining Data Files from Add Health should contact Add Health, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Carolina Population Center, 206 W. Franklin Street, Chapel Hill, NC 27516-2524 (addhealth_contracts@unc.edu). No direct support was received from grant P01-HD31921 for this analysis. The author wishes to thank Editor Krohn, the anonymous reviewers, Jessica Finkeldey, Lauren Porter, and Ray Swisher for their thoughtful suggestions on earlier drafts. Direct correspondence to Christopher R. Dennison, Department of Sociology, University at Buffalo, SUNY, Buffalo, NY 14260. E-mail: crdennis@buffalo.edu. 0 ROUTLEDGE JOURNALS, TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD ABINGDON JUSTICE Q

Reference Type

Journal Article

Journal Title

Justice Quarterly


Dennison, C. R.

Year Published






Reference ID