Are Rates of School Suspension Higher in Socially Disadvantaged Neighbourhoods?: An Australian Study

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Title Are Rates of School Suspension Higher in Socially Disadvantaged Neighbourhoods?: An Australian Study
Author Hemphill, Sherly A.; Toumbourou, John W.; Smith, Rachel; Kendall, Garth E.; Rowland, Bosco; Freiberg, Kathryn Jeanette; Williams, Joanne W.
Journal Name Health Promotion Journal of Australia
Year Published 2010
Place of publication Australia
Publisher Australian Health Promotion Association
Abstract Issue addressed: Health promotion with adolescents spans many contexts including schools. Income and its distribution, education and social exclusion are key social determinants of health. Exclusionary school policies such as school suspension contribute to exclusion, increase the likelihood of school dropout (reducing educational and subsequent employment opportunities), and negatively impact on student wellbeing. Often excluded students are from socio-economically disadvantaged areas. This paper examines associations between area level socio-economic status (SES) and school suspension in Australian students. Methods: Students (8,028) in years 6 (n = 4393) and 8 (n = 3635) completed a comprehensive social development survey administered in schools in 30 socio-economically stratified communities in 2006. Results: Associations between area level SES and school suspension were found. Relative to students in the lowest SES quartile communities, students in mid level and high SES had lower suspension rates. These effects remained after controlling for antisocial behaviour, gender, age and the established risk factors of poor family management, interaction with antisocial peers and academic failure. Conclusions: Students living in low SES areas are exposed to higher rates of school suspension, at similar levels of adjustment problems. Assisting schools, particularly those with disadvantaged students, to foster school engagement is essential for schools committed to health promotion.
Peer Reviewed Yes
Published Yes
Publisher URI
Volume 21
Issue Number 1
Page from 12
Page to 18
ISSN 1036-1073
Date Accessioned 2010-07-13
Language en_AU
Research Centre Key Centre for Ethics, Law, Justice and Governance
Faculty Faculty of Humanities and Social Science
Subject Education Policy
Publication Type Journal Articles (Refereed Article)
Publication Type Code c1

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