A longitudinal analysis of school discipline events among youth in foster care

Brianne H. Kothari, Bethany Godlewski, Bowen McBeath, Marjorie McGee, Jeff Waid, Shannon Lipscomb, Lew Bank

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Youth in foster care experience major deficits on standardized measures of academic functioning, are at high risk of academic failure, and are more likely than their non-foster peers to be disciplined at school. School discipline-related problems increase risk of problematic educational and behavioral outcomes including dropping out of school, repeating a grade, and engagement in delinquent and criminal behavior. Identifying which youth are at greatest risk for experiencing school discipline is needed in order to improve the educational experiences of youth in foster care. The current investigation examined the effects of youth and contextual characteristics on school discipline events among 315 youth in foster care. Results revealed that being male, in a higher-grade, and a student of color, living apart from one's sibling, and school mobility significantly predicted discipline events. An additional statistical model divided youth into groups based on race, sex, and disability status taking into account the multiple identities youth have. These results suggest that gender, race, and disability status cumulatively inform school discipline experienced among youth in foster care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)117-125
Number of pages9
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
StatePublished - Oct 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Research support is gratefully acknowledged from the National Institute of Mental Health for the project, ‘Evaluation of Intervention for Siblings in Foster Care,’ ( R01MH085438 Lew Bank, PI). The information reported herein reflects solely the positions of the authors.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018


  • Child welfare
  • Foster Care
  • School discipline

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