Academic risk among inner-city adolescents: The role of personal attributes

Carol H. Ripple, Suniya S. Luthar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


In this 3-year prospective study, we explored antecedents of school-based adjustment among 134 inner-city high-school students. We examined the role of freshman-year risk and protective factors in relation to dropout status and senior-year adjustment indices among those who remained in school, including academic performance, psychological symptoms, and drug use. Although each single attribute included in this study has been linked to poor academic performance in previous investigations, the primary goal in this study was to determine which attributes were strongly related to academic problems when considered together. In addition, we sought to establish whether risk factors associated with dropout were the same as those that predicted academic problems among students who remained in school. Findings indicated that freshman-year attendance and demographic indices were most strongly predictive of dropout. Among adolescents who remained in school, freshman academic success was robustly linked to senior-year competence. Implications for identifying inner-city high-school students at high risk for academic problems are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)277-298
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of School Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Academic adjustment
  • Adolescence
  • Dropout
  • Ethnicity
  • Low SES
  • Risk

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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