Social Bonding to School and Educational Inequality

Anthony A. Peguero, Sarah M. Ovink, Yun Ling Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Social bond theory suggests that strong bonds to school influence better outcomes on measures of educational progress and success. However, we know little about the relationship between social bonding to school and dropout for racial/ethnic minorities, or how this relationship varies across school settings. We examine how five types of social bonding (attachment, academic and sports involvement, commitment, and belief) influence the likelihood of dropout for racial/ethnic minorities in urban, suburban, and rural schools using national survey data. Results suggest that strong social bonds to school have the potential to mitigate some of the observed racial/ethnic gaps in dropout risk; however, the opportunity to form such bonds, as well as the strength of their protective effects, vary by student race/ethnicity, type of social bond, and school location.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)317-344
Number of pages28
JournalSociological Perspectives
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • dropout
  • education
  • race/ethnicity
  • social bonds

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


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