Rosenbaum, Janet (2010). Suspending society's obligations: Adolescent school outcomes and risk behaviors under differing school discipline policies. 2010 Add Health Users Conference.
The 1994 federal Gun-Free Schools Act required schools to suspend students who possess weapons or drugs, irrespective of circumstance. Currently, over 9% of males and 4.5% of females in US high schools are suspended each year (NCES 2009). While the black-white achievement gap has narrowed, it has increased in school suspension. Add Health is uniquely suitable for studying this policy change. This study, the first of three, will focus on students at schools that suspend/expel for non-violent offenses such as smoking and drinking in school, using the Add Health school administrator reports. Using propensity matching methods, we compare Wave II through Wave IV outcomes of students suspended at Wave I with students not suspended at Wave I that are otherwise similar on pre-suspension characteristics measured on the in-school survey, such as math and English class grades, extracurricular involvement, truancy, fighting, smoking and alcohol use, school connectedness, parents' education, expectations for the future, self-efficacy, and depression score. The study tests the hypothesis that students suspended at schools with harsh disciplinary policies would have worse outcomes due to secondary deviance than students who are not suspended but have similar pre-suspension characteristics.
2010 Add Health Users Conference
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