School Quality and Educational Attainment of Parenting and Non-parenting Teens: The Role of School Violence

Adena M. Galinsky, Johns Hopkins University
Nan M. Astone, Johns Hopkins University
Suzumi Yasutake, Johns Hopkins University
David Bishai, Johns Hopkins University
Athena A. Tapales, Independent Consultant

Existing studies are inconclusive regarding which, if any, aspects of school quality should be targeted in order to improve the educational outcomes of disadvantaged populations such as parenting teens. We examine the relationship between school quality and educational attainment for parenting (N=482) and non-parenting (N=8,757) teens attending public schools using data from the National Educational Longitudinal Survey of 1988. Using hierarchical generalized linear modeling, we regress educational attainment dummy variables, such as “graduated high school” on the individual and school characteristics of the parenting and non-parenting teens. While the traditional indicators of school quality, such as teacher salary, are not significantly associated with educational outcomes, nor are innovative ones such as school drug use and vandalism, one indicator stands out as a strong and consistent predictor of educational attainment: high school violence. We explore this association for parenting and non-parenting teens, and its implications for policy.

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Presented in Poster Session 5