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From First Grade Forward: Early Foundations of High School Dropout

Karl L. Alexander, Doris R. Entwisle and Carrie S. Horsey
Sociology of Education
Vol. 70, No. 2 (Apr., 1997), pp. 87-107
DOI: 10.2307/2673158
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2673158
Page Count: 21
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From First Grade Forward: Early Foundations of High School Dropout
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Abstract

In tracking the educational progress of a sample of Baltimore school-children from entrance into first grade in fall 1982 through early spring 1996, the authors examined the children's personal qualities, first-grade experiences, and family circumstances as precursors to high school dropout. Logistic regression analyses were used to identify predictors of dropout involving family context measures (stressful family changes, parents' attitudes, and parents' socialization practices), children's personal resources (attitudes and behaviors), and school experiences (test scores, marks, and track placements). These various measures were found to influence dropout independently of sociodemographic factors and account for much of the difference in the odds of dropout associated with family socioeconomic status, gender, family type, and other "risk factors." The authors take a life-course perspective on dropout, viewing it as the culmination of a long-term process of academic disengagement.

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