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J Adolesc Res. 1998 Jan;13(1):49-72.

Adolescent school experiences and dropout, adolescent pregnancy, and young adult deviant behavior.

Abstract

PIP:

Outside of the family, schools are the most proximal socializing agent available to convey societal norms and prohibitions to young people. In some cases, a positive school experience can compensate for the antisocial influence of family and community. The present study investigated the predictive ability of school-related factors on later deviancy in a random sample of 452 US adolescents 12-18 years of age attending 150 junior or senior high schools in upstate New York and enrolled in a broader prospective study. A measure of conduct problems, obtained 2 years before measurement of school factors, was used to control for the predisposing effects of problematic behavior on later deviance. Academic achievement, academic aspirations, and a learning-focused school environment had deterrent effects on all deviant outcomes assessed--dropping out of school, adolescent pregnancy, engaging in criminal activities, criminal conviction, antisocial personality disorder, and alcohol abuse--independent of age, gender, intelligence quotient, socioeconomic status, childhood conduct problems, and proportion of deviance-oriented friends in adolescence. Given the persistence of deviant behavioral patterns of adolescence into adulthood, the systems-level influences identified in this study should be given careful attention.

PMID:
12348538
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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