Positive associations between school suspension and student problem behaviour: Recent Australian findings

S Hemphill, D Broderick, J Heerde

Trends and Issues in Crime and Criminal Justice | Australian Institute of Criminology | Published : 2017


School suspension—the temporary removal of a student from school—is one of the most severe responses to student misbehaviour in Australian schools. Evidence suggests school suspension is associated with negative behavioural outcomes in adolescence. Using data from the International Youth Development Study, a large longitudinal study of adolescent development, this research found positive associations between school suspension and adolescent problem behaviour. These associations remained after taking into account other known risk factors for such behaviours. The paper discusses the implications for policy development around the management of student misbehaviour and conduct breaches.


Awarded by Australian Research Council

Awarded by National Institute on Drug Abuse

Funding Acknowledgements

The authors are grateful for the Criminology Research Advisory Council's financial support for their initial data. Three Australian Research Council Discovery Projects (DPO663371, DPO877359, and DP1095744) supported continued data collection in Victoria. The Collier Charitable Fund supported analyses of violent and nonviolent behaviour data. Funding for the IYDS was originally provided by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (R01-DA012140).