Life Course Turning Points: A Case Study of the Effect of School Failure on Interpersonal Violence

Daniel S. Nagin, Carnegie Mellon University
Pierre Tremblay, Universite de Montreal

The linkage of school failure and delinquency is well established. This research examines this linkage from a developental perspective and has three principal objectives. The first is to test whether the impact of school failure, as measured by being held back in school, depends on the timing of the event. The second is to test whether the magnitude and direction of the impact depends on the child's developmental history. The third is to demonstrate an enhancement of a semi-parametric, group-based methodology for identifying distinctive developmental trajectories of some behavior of interest, in this case violence. This enhance provides capacity for measuring the impact of an event like school failure on developmental trajectories. The analyses are based on a large prospective longitudinal study of males from Montreal, Canada.

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Updated 05/20/2006