Graduation Year

2005

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Ph.D.

Degree Granting Department

Measurement and Evaluation

Major Professor

John M. Ferron, Ph.D.

Keywords

Gender, Education, Race/ethnicity, Grade retention, School leavers

Abstract

This dissertation explored the factors associated with dropping out of middle school and high school among Hispanic/Latino male students. Predictor variables investigated were: age, home language, retention history, SES, program of studies, suspensions, and GPA. Data were from a large urban school district in the state of Florida. A sample of 865 Hispanic/Latino male Latino students in the 8th grade in 1995-96 was followed longitudinally every year to the year 2000-01. Survival analysis and logistic regression were used to examine the data. The research questions were: 1) What is the relation between age, home language, retention history, SES, program of studies, suspensions, and GPA and dropping out of middle and secondary school by Hispanic/Latino males? 2) At what grade levels do the predictor variables begin to affect the male Hispanic/ Latino students' propensity for early school leaving? When are they at greatest risk? Of the predictor variables included in this research, age, retention history, program of studies, suspension, and GPA, were found to be statistically significant in the students' decision to drop out of school. This research also found that approximately 31% of this Hispanic/Latino male sample dropped out prior to completing their high school education during the 5-year span. Investigating the most hazardous time for dropping out of school, results suggested that for these students it is well into their secondary education, very close to when they would actually graduate, during their junior to senior years. It may be the time close to their eighteenth birthday that lets them legally choose to leave school that triggers this hazardous time period.

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