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Title:A prospective longitudinal study of high school dropouts: Examining multiple predictors across development
Author:Jimerson, S., Egeland, B., Sroufe, L. A., & Carlson, B.
Resource Type:Journal Article
Journal of School Psychology, 38(6)

pp. 525-549
Education Level:Elementary, Middle, High
Literature type:Research and Evaluation

This study explores multiple factors as possible predictors of dropping out of high school. The results of statistical correlations demonstrated the association of the following factors with dropping out of high school: early home environment, quality of early care, academic achievement in elementary school, parental involvement, behavior problems, and peer relations. Parent involvement and problem behaviors emerged as the strongest predictors, both at the elementary and secondary level. The researchers analyzed data from a racially diverse sample of 143 participants in a long-term study of children at risk conducted in Minnesota. These were classified as either dropout or traditional students. A student was considered a dropout if at age 19 he/she had not graduated from high school, obtained a Graduate Equivalency Degree (GED), or enrolled in any form of alternative educational program. Data about the factors were collected through observations, surveys, teacher reports, and achievement tests. This study should encourage school psychologists, educators, and policymakers to design and implement interventions that consider these factors as indicators that should be monitored to prevent students from dropping out of school. The researchers make the clarification that the findings do not imply that dropping out of schools is ÒdeterminedÓ by these factors within the first few years of lifeƐthey only point to the ÒprobabilityÓ that a student will enter the path toward dropping out. The reader should note that parent involvement was measured by teacher reports on whether parents contacted the schools or attended parent-teacher conferences, which does not capture the full range of possible parent involvement activities.

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