Adolescent Adversity, School Attendance and Academic Achievement: School Connection and the Potential for Mitigating Risk.
BACKGROUND: Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) may be particularly impactful for the learning environment. The purpose of this study was to examine relationships between ACEs and 3 education-related outcomes, no plan to graduate, past month unexcused absences, and low academic achievement, outcomes linked to poor prospects for future social status attainment and by extension, health. METHODS: Data are from 9th and 11th grade participants in the 2016 Minnesota Student Survey (N = 81,885). Logistic regression was used to determine if individual and cumulative measures for 10 types of ACEs were significantly associated with education-related outcomes in analytic models adjusting for demographic and individual factors. Final analytic models tested for moderation of relationships between ACEs and adverse education outcomes by student school connection. Analyses were stratified by sex. RESULTS: Multiple types of ACEs were significantly associated with each adverse education outcome. Relationships between some types of ACEs and education outcomes were marginally attenuated by school connection. CONCLUSIONS: Among high school students, experiences of adversity were significantly associated with scholastic outcomes that portend limited prospects for health and status attainment in adulthood. Strategies for strengthening student school connection may be relevant for supporting youth resilience, and the potential for better stability in adulthood.
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