That’s what friends are for? The impact of peer characteristics on early school-leaving

TitleThat’s what friends are for? The impact of peer characteristics on early school-leaving
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsTraag T, Lubbers MJ, Velden VDR
JournalROA Research Memorandum, ROA-RM-2012/6. Maastricht University
Keywordsearly schoolleaving, peers, school-performance
Abstract

In this paper we investigate if peer relations affect a student’s risk of early schoolleaving. We use the sociometric data collection from the Dutch “Secondary Education Pupil Cohort 1999” to identify peer relations in a sample of almost 20,000 students in the first grade of secondary education (mean age 13). This information is matched to data on educational attainment from 1999 to 2010 for these students, to measure later early school-leaving by both the focal students as well as their peers. Our results show that both being friends with future early school-leavers as well as popularity among future early school-leavers increases the risk of students to be early school-leavers later in their educational career while other characteristics of the peer group such as gender composition, ethnic composition, average (non)cognitive skills and average socioeconomic background have no effects on the risk of early school-leaving. And while characteristics like gender, ethnicity and socio-economic background play an important role in peer selection, the future dropout status does not have a major impact on peer selection.

URLhttp://www.roa.unimaas.nl/pdf_publications/2012/ROA_RM_2012_6.pdf