The Impact of Childhood School Suspension on Dropout and Arrest in Adolescence: Disparate Relationships by Race and Adverse Childhood Experiences

Academic Article


  • Despite its widespread use, school suspension is related to negative outcomes in adolescence, including delinquency and low academic attainment. However, it remains less clear how other sources of adversity affect the relationship between suspension and negative outcomes. Drawing on longitudinal data on a sample of at-risk youth, this study examines the roles of two sources of disadvantage—being a racial minority and experiencing high levels of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs)—in the relationships between school suspension in childhood and arrest and high school dropout in adolescence. Results reveal that suspension increased odds of dropout and arrest regardless of race, even after accounting for high ACEs and other covariates. Among Black youth only, the impact of suspension on dropout was amplified for those with high ACE exposure. Findings shed light on the complex connections between sources of adversity and their relation to negative outcomes in adolescence.
  • Authors

    Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Leban L; Masterson M
  • Start Page

  • 550
  • End Page

  • 569
  • Volume

  • 49
  • Issue

  • 4