Child Abuse, Sexual Assault, Community Violence and High School Graduation


Researchers from a range of disciplines have conducted studies to identify why one in five persons in the United States fails to complete high school. Our research contributes to this literature by exploring the link between violence victimization as a youth on subsequently dropping out of high school and years of schooling completed. This pathway has largely been neglected in prior studies, although about a third of all women and men report being the victim of violence prior to the age of 16. Using data drawn from the National Comorbidity Survey Replication (NCS-R) and the National Survey of American Life (NSAL), our analysis reveals that females and males who are the victims violence are more likely to drop out of high school relative to their peers who report that they never were the victims of violence. In addition, these negative effects appear to be driven by the effect of home violence for both genders while men also experience negative effects from community violence.