Preventing Youth DelinquencyIdentifying School Risk & Protective Factors Christine A. Christle 2004
School to Prison Pipeline School Failure Suspension Dropout Delinquency
The Co$t of Incarceration Penn State or The State Pen It’s your money!
Life Domains Individual Family School Community Peer Relations School Weak academics Low school involvement Truancy Suspension Expulsion Dropout Risk Factors - Delinquency
Weak Academics & Poverty • Exposure to print material • Low SES - 40 hrs • High SES - 1000 hrs • Vocabulary skills • Following directions
fall behind academically >> difficult work >> challenging behaviors >> removal from class >> Failure Cycle • Cognitive deficits lead to poor academic performance • Poor academic performance is a strong risk factor for delinquency
Weak Academics & Behavior • Low school achievement predicts delinquency • 20% of students with EBD are arrested while in school • 58% are arrested 5 years after school • 70-87% of incarcerated youth have LD or EBD
School Factors3 Studies in Kentucky • 747 Elementary Schools • 161 Middle Schools • 196 High Schools
Elementary School Study • Stage 1 • Correlation analysis of school characteristics & academic achievement • Stage 2 • Regression analysis • Stage 3 • Qualitative analysis of climate in 3 HPHA & 3 HPLA schools
Research Questions • What specific school characteristics are related to academic achievement? • What characteristics separate HPHA schools from HPLA schools?
Results Stages 1 & 2School Characteristics Related to Academic Achievement Correlation • Poverty: % of students in FRLP - 34% • Attendance rate: + 26% Regression • Together (FRLP % & ATT) 42%
Results Stage 3Case Studies - HPHA vs HPLA • Smaller schools • Better building conditions • More adult/student interactions • More positive interactions • Higher staff morale & collegiality • Higher level of student task engagement • More money per student • More family involvement
Suspension • Most common disciplinary consequence in schools • Disproportionately used • Ethnicity, SES, gender, academic competence • Most at Middle School level • Poor academic skill - strong predictor of school exclusion
Suspension • Rates increasing • US: steady increase over last 25 years • Kentucky: 00-01 68,523 01-02 74,054 02-03 76,886 • Most are repeat offenders
Middle School Study • Stage 1 • Correlation analysis of school characteristics & suspension • Stage 2 • Comparison analysis of 20 HSS & 20 LSS • Stage 3 • Qualitative analysis of climate in 4 HSS & 4 LSS
Research Questions • What specific school characteristics are related to suspension rate? • What characteristics separate high-suspending schools from low-suspending schools?
20 HSS Number of board violations Dropout rate Low SES Law violations $tudent $pending 20 LSS Attendance rate Academic test scores Ethnic background C/W Results Stage 1 & 2Characteristics Differentially Related
HSS and LSS Difference - Suspension 1 1 Suspension Rate -
HSS and LSS Difference - Ethnicity Percent Caucasian Students
HSS and LSS Difference - Poverty 1 Percent FRLP Enrollment -
Administrative Leadership More support for staff Proactive discipline philosophy Teacher & Staff Behaviors More positive interactions Active teaching style Results Stage 3Case Studies - LSS vs HSS
Student Behaviors More positive interactions More engagement in class Structure & Programming Better building condition More ambiance School-wide focus More school connections Results Stage 3Case Studies - LSS vs HSS
Dropout • Low SES youth 2.4 X more likely to drop out • Suspended youth 3 X more likely to drop out & become delinquent • Over 80% of prison inmates are dropouts • 1/2 of heads of households on welfare are dropouts
High School Study • Stage 1 • Correlation analysis of school characteristics & dropout • Stage 2 • Comparison analysis of 20 HDOS & 20 LDOS • Stage 3 • Qualitative analysis of climate in 4 HDOS & 4 LDOS
Research Questions • What specific school characteristics are related to dropout rate? • What characteristics separate high-dropout schools from low-dropout schools?
Enrollment FRLP % # Rule violations # Law violations Suspension rate Retention rate Expulsion rate Ethnic background Attendance rate Academic achievement scores % of students with disabilities Current StudySchool Variables
Lessons Learned Thus Far Resilience • Meaningful Participation • Students help develop dress code, lunch menus • High Expectations • All students & staff (PRIDE program) • Caring Adult Relationships • All staff involved with students in clubs, activities
BIG IDEA ! SCHOOL STAFF KNOW • Problems • Solutions ASK THEM!
Dilemma How can we transform this research into practice?
Thank You Christine A. Christle University of Kentucky The National Center on Education, Disability, and Juvenile Justice