Nav: Home

School suspension, expulsion more likely to predict youth drug use than police arrest

February 05, 2019

Research has told us that school disciplinary practices lead to juvenile justice interventions, and that both school exclusion and juvenile justice intervention lead to adversities like drug use in adolescence and adulthood. Yet it's unclear which form of intervention--being suspended and expelled from school or being arrested by police--is more likely to lead youth to use drugs. A new longitudinal study found that practices that exclude youth from school appear to predict drug use more than arrests by police, especially among minority youth.

The study, by researchers at George Mason University and the University of Florida, appears in Justice Quarterly, a publication of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences.

"Our findings add to growing concerns about school disciplinary practices that exclude youth," according to Beidi Dong, assistant professor in the Department of Criminology, Law, and Society at George Mason University, who led the study. "Amid alarm about the school-to-prison pipeline, the conclusion that school exclusion is even more problematic for students' well-being than police arrest highlights the need to find alternative methods to discipline students so exclusion is used only as a last resort."

The study used data from the longitudinal Rochester Youth Developmental Study (RYDS) to examine both the immediate, concurrent influence of school and police interventions on drug use during adolescence and the long-term, cumulative effect of these interventions during adolescence on subsequent drug use in young adulthood. The RYDS began in 1988 with 1,000 seventh- and eighth-grade students in Rochester, NY. It included students from a range of races and ethnicities, and featured more males and more youth from high-crime neighborhoods to over-represent high-risk youth.

This study used data covering ages 14 to 31 of the RYDS sample. Researchers collected information on students' drug use, self-esteem, and parents' supervision, as well as whether students had been disciplined at school and been arrested.

School exclusionary practices appeared to predict drug use more than police arrests during both adolescence and young adulthood, the study found. The negative effects were especially pronounced among minority youth. The results differed for males and females, with school exclusion predictive of concurrent drug use for females but not for males, and predictive of subsequent adult drug use for males but not for females.

"Removing adolescents from school provides unstructured and unsupervised time that can facilitate drug use, while being arrested does not necessarily do so," notes Marvin D. Krohn, professor in the Department of Sociology and Criminology and Law at the University of Florida, who coauthored the study. "This should be kept in mind as educators and others consider other ways to discipline students."
-end-
The research was supported by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Mental Health, and the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

Summarized from Justice Quarterly, Sent Home Versus Being Arrested: The Relative Influence of School and Police Intervention on Drug Use by Dong, B (George Mason University), and Krohn, MD (University of Florida). Copyright 2019 The Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences. All rights reserved.

Crime and Justice Research Alliance

Related Adolescence Articles:

High levels of screen use associated with symptoms of anxiety in adolescence
High levels of social media use, television viewing and computer use are associated with symptoms of anxiety in adolescence.
Factors that predict obesity by adolescence revealed
Three simple factors that predict whether a healthy weight child will be overweight or obese by adolescence have been revealed in a new study led by the Murdoch Children's Research Institute (MCRI).
Association of family relationships during adolescence with later depression risk
Positive family relationships during adolescence appeared to be associated with lower levels of depressive symptoms from adolescence to midlife in this observational study of about 18,000 adolescents followed up until they were 32 to 42 years old.
Brain anatomy changes with maturation to adolescence
In a first-of-its-kind study, Children's Hospital Los Angeles researchers piece together a road map of typical brain development in children during a critical window of maturation.
A lack of self control during adolescence is not uniquely human
Impulsiveness in adolescence isn't just a phase, it's biology. And despite all the social factors that define our teen years, the human brain and the brains of other primates go through very similar changes, particularly in the areas that affect self-control.
Girls who are more physically active in childhood may have better lung function in adolescence
A study of more than 2,300 adolescents underscores the pulmonary health benefits of physical activity.
New research has potential for 'unpacking' complex simultaneous emotions in adolescence
Shows for the first time that complex, mixed simultaneous emotions in adolescents could be assessed using an Analogue Emotion Scale.
Mood neurons mature during adolescence
Researchers have discovered a mysterious group of neurons in the amygdala -- a key center for emotional processing in the brain -- that stay in an immature, prenatal developmental state throughout childhood.
Schizophrenia: Adolescence is the game-changer
Schizophrenia may be related to the deletion syndrome. However, not everyone who has the syndrome necessarily develops psychotic symptoms.
Childhood methylphenidate treatment predicts antidepressant use during adolescence
A new, 12-year longitudinal study, which monitored 6,830 children from early childhood into adolescence, has shown that consistent treatment with MPH-based medications during childhood increases the risk of antidepressant use during adolescence.
More Adolescence News and Adolescence Current Events

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2019.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

In & Out Of Love
We think of love as a mysterious, unknowable force. Something that happens to us. But what if we could control it? This hour, TED speakers on whether we can decide to fall in — and out of — love. Guests include writer Mandy Len Catron, biological anthropologist Helen Fisher, musician Dessa, One Love CEO Katie Hood, and psychologist Guy Winch.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#543 Give a Nerd a Gift
Yup, you guessed it... it's Science for the People's annual holiday episode that helps you figure out what sciency books and gifts to get that special nerd on your list. Or maybe you're looking to build up your reading list for the holiday break and a geeky Christmas sweater to wear to an upcoming party. Returning are pop-science power-readers John Dupuis and Joanne Manaster to dish on the best science books they read this past year. And Rachelle Saunders and Bethany Brookshire squee in delight over some truly delightful science-themed non-book objects for those whose bookshelves are already full. Since...
Now Playing: Radiolab

An Announcement from Radiolab