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01-02-2011 | Empirical Research | Uitgave 2/2011

Journal of Youth and Adolescence 2/2011

The Effect of School Dropout on Verbal Ability in Adulthood: A Propensity Score Matching Approach

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Youth and Adolescence > Uitgave 2/2011
Auteurs:
Michael G. Vaughn, Kevin M. Beaver, Jade Wexler, Matt DeLisi, Gregory J. Roberts
Belangrijke opmerkingen
The contents of the article are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official view of the National Institutes of Health.

Abstract

Compared to high school graduates, adolescents who drop out of school are more likely to have a range of negative outcomes, including lower verbal capacities; however, the true nature of this association is not well-understood. Dropping out of school could have an important effect on reducing verbal skills, or the link between dropping out of school and diminished verbal skills could be a spurious association that is the result of unmeasured confounding variables. The current study tested these two competing perspectives by using propensity-score-matching (PSM) to unpack the association between school dropout and verbal skills among 7,317 respondents from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (51% female, 49% male; 62% Caucasian, 38% minority). The results of the PSM models indicated a small yet meaningful statistically significant effect of dropout on verbal skills in adulthood even after taking into account a range of confounders. We conclude by discussing the implications of our results.

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