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J Sch Health. 2000 Oct;70(8):327-30.

The association between severity of sanction imposed for violation of tobacco policy and high school dropout rates.

Author information

  • 1Dept. of Health Promotion and Education, University of South Carolina, School of Public Health, Columbia 29208, USA. Bmartin@sph.sc.edu


This investigation explored the association between severity of sanctions imposed on students resulting from tobacco policy violation and the event dropout rate in South Carolina public high schools. The study employed a cross-sectional design (n = 132). Surveys were mailed to school principals to assess tobacco policy and sanctions for violation. Severe sanctions were categorized as those resulting in the student being denied onsite instruction, such as out-of-school suspension or expulsion. General linear regression models adjusting for SES, ethnicity, and rural/urban status, tested for an association between event dropout rate and severity of sanction imposed. The mean dropout rate in 1998 for high schools in South Carolina was 2.58% (+1.74). Suspension at first violation and expulsion were associated with lower dropout rates. Suspension at second violation was not associated with dropout behavior while suspension at third violation was associated with higher dropout rates. Results from the study provide preliminary evidence that severe sanctions imposed for violation of tobacco policy may help reduce high school dropout rates.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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