Staying in School: Connection, Cohesiveness, and Suspension

School suspensions have substantial health and social consequences. A recent study featuring PISC Past Trainee Alison Culyba, MD, PhD, MPH, examines the relationship between school connectedness, individual social support, and neighborhood-level connectedness on the likelihood of a school suspension. The study includes a cross-sectional analysis of the Healthy Allegheny Teen Survey, a county-wide survey including 1,813 teenagers in Pennsylvania. Logistic regression models are used to analyze associations between suspension, school support, social connectedness, and neighborhood-level cohesion. Results indicate that youth with high social support are significantly less likely to be suspended than youth with low social support. Moreover, increased levels of school connectedness and neighborhood-level cohesion are associated with lower odds of suspension. The team concludes that “programs that foster connectedness at the individual, school, and neighborhood-level” are likely to decrease school suspension, reducing adverse health and social consequences for millions of adolescents.

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