Document Type

Article

Disciplines

Public Health

Abstract

Background: Due to the relationship between SES and health, pursuing post high-school plans can lead to better future health outcomes for the student. The current paper assesses how behavioral and health risk factors, and family and social support, effect a student’s decision to pursue post high school plans. Methods: Data from the Youth Behavioral Component of the 2007 Connecticut School Health Survey were analyzed. Composite measures of exposure to/participation in violent behavior, mental and physical health, family/social support and substance abuse were created. The effects of these domains on the decision to pursue post high-school plans were assessed using logistic regression. Data were stratified by socioeconomic status. Results: Low SES students were more likely than high SES students to be doubtful for post high-school plans. Cocaine abuse emerged as the risk factor that put low SES students at the highest odds of not pursuing post high-school plans, followed by involvement in violent/aggressive behavior, and receiving less family/social support than their peers. Similar findings regarding violence and family/social support were found in the high SES group. Findings regarding substance abuse in the high SES group were not statistically significant. Discussion: Prevention programs regarding violence and substance abuse may have the added benefit of increasing the likelihood that high school students will make post high school plans. Preventing cocaine use among low SES students may be of particular importance. Violence prevention measures should be tailored to the target group. Adequate family/social support emerged as an encouraging factor for post high school plans.

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