Dropping out of high school: Effects of close and distant friendships

Citation

Carbonaro, William & Workman, Joseph (2013). Dropping out of high school: Effects of close and distant friendships. Social Science Research. vol. 42 (5) pp. 1254-1268

Abstract

Prior research highlights the role of friends in influencing whether a student completes high school. Students who drop out tend to have fewer friends, as well as friends who are less oriented toward school success. We distinguish between close and distant friendships by developing a theoretical framework which predicts close and distant friends likely have distinct effects on dropping out. Close friendships provide valuable emotional support, and forging numerous close friendships at school should decrease one’s risk of dropping out. In contrast, the characteristics of distant friends help shape students’ social identities and beliefs about “what’s normative.” Our analyses of the Add Health data set confirm our expectations. Students with more close friendships are less likely to drop out, but close friends’ characteristics are unrelated to dropping out. Distant relationships (as measured by affect and regularity of interaction) with friends who have a high risk of dropping out significantly increase a student’s own risk of dropping out.

URL

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ssresearch.2013.05.003

Keyword(s)

Dropout Peer effects Social identity

Reference Type

Journal Article

Journal Title

Social Science Research

Author(s)

Carbonaro, William
Workman, Joseph

Year Published

2013

Volume Number

42

Issue Number

5

Pages

1254-1268

DOI

10.1016/j.ssresearch.2013.05.003

Reference ID

8913