Unraveling the Contextual Effects on Student Suspension and Juvenile Arrest: An Examination of School, Neighborhood, and Family Controls

Criminology, Vol. 47, No. 2, pp. 479-520

52 Pages Posted: 22 Aug 2008 Last revised: 2 May 2011

Date Written: August 21, 2008

Abstract

Scholars of human development argue that a variety of social contexts affect youth development, and that the interdependency of these contexts bears upon the shape of human lives. However, few studies of contextual effects have attempted to model the effects of school, neighborhood, and family context at the same time, or to explore the relative and interdependent impact of these contexts on youth outcomes. The present study provides an examination of the independent and interdependent influences of school, neighborhood, and familial contexts through an analysis of student suspension and juvenile arrest. Findings reveal that school-based and family-based informal social controls additively combine to reduce the likelihood of suspension and arrest. Moreover, for suspension, results support the hypothesis that there is an interdependent compensatory relation between the extent of collective efficacy in schools and in the surrounding neighborhood; school collective efficacy has a controlling influence on the likelihood of suspension which becomes even stronger in absence of neighborhood collective efficacy. However, for arrest, there is an accentuating effect of school-based social controls rather than a compensatory effect. A lack of neighborhood collective efficacy and a lack of school-based social controls combine to exert a substantial increase in the likelihood of arrest.

Keywords: neighborhood effects, school effects, family, moderators, suspension, arrest

JEL Classification: I2, K4

Suggested Citation

Kirk, David, Unraveling the Contextual Effects on Student Suspension and Juvenile Arrest: An Examination of School, Neighborhood, and Family Controls (August 21, 2008). Criminology, Vol. 47, No. 2, pp. 479-520, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1245811

David Kirk (Contact Author)

University of Oxford ( email )

Oxford, OX1 3UQ
United Kingdom

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