Educational and criminal justice outcomes 12 years after school suspension


Rosenbaum, Janet (2018). Educational and criminal justice outcomes 12 years after school suspension. Youth and Society.


A third of U.S. students are suspended over a K-12 school career. Suspended youth have worse adult outcomes than nonsuspended students, but these outcomes could be due to selection bias: that is, suspended youth may have had worse outcomes even without suspension. This study compares the educational and criminal justice outcomes of 480 youth suspended for the first time with those of 1,193 matched nonsuspended youth from a nationally representative sample. Prior to suspension, the suspended and nonsuspended youth did not differ on 60 pre-suspension variables including students’ self-reported delinquency and risk behaviors, parents’ reports of socioeconomic status, and administrators’ reports of school disciplinary policies. Twelve years after suspension (ages 25-32), suspended youth were less likely than matched nonsuspended youth to have earned bachelor’s degrees or high school diplomas, and were more likely to have been arrested and on probation, suggesting that suspension rather than selection bias explains negative outcomes.



delinquency educational achievement alienation school dropout emerging adulthood adult transition discrimination racism longitudinal design

Reference Type

Journal Article

Journal Title

Youth and Society


Rosenbaum, Janet

Year Published



January 17, 2018



Reference ID