Exploring the Relationships between School Suspension, ADHD Diagnoses, and Delinquency Across Different School Punitive and Special Education Climates

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Journal Article

In this paper, we examine the relationships between school suspensions and/or ADHD diagnoses and delinquency across different school disciplinary and special education climates. Given how these childhood interventions are intended to improve schoolchildren’s behavior and create a safe and predictable learning environment, it is critical for scholars to compare how these diverse yet connected responses to child misbehavior influence delinquent behavior. We use data from the Fragile Families and Child Well-Being Study (n=2,267). Results from binomial regression models show that delinquency scores are higher among suspended children and children receiving both suspension and ADHD treatment, compared to young people who experience neither. Further, school context has a direct association with delinquency scores, as children attending schools with higher rates of school suspensions and special education enrollment have lower delinquency scores. Moreover, the relationship between individual childhood experiences with school suspension and/or ADHD treatment and delinquency is moderated by school context, especially regarding special education enrollment rates.

Children and Youth Services Review
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