Review of Behavioral Economics > Vol 4 > Issue 3

Child Abuse, Sexual Assault, Community Violence and High School Graduation

Timothy M. Diette, Washington & Lee University, USA, , Arthur H. Goldsmith, Washington & Lee University, USA, Darrick Hamilton, The New School, USA, William A. Darity Jr., Duke University, USA
Suggested Citation
Timothy M. Diette, Arthur H. Goldsmith, Darrick Hamilton and William A. Darity Jr. (2017), "Child Abuse, Sexual Assault, Community Violence and High School Graduation", Review of Behavioral Economics: Vol. 4: No. 3, pp 215-240.

Publication Date: 09 Nov 2017
© 2017 T. M. Diette, A. H. Goldsmith, D. Hamilton, and W. A. Darity
Health Economics,  Labor Economics
JEL Codes: I21K4
High School DropoutHigh School GraduateViolenceTraumaSexual Assault


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In this article:
1. Introduction 
2. Childhood Traumatic Victimization and Schooling 
3. Data and Measurement of Violence and Education 
4. Empirical Procedures and Findings: Violence and Schooling 
5. Types of Violence and the Schooling Violence Link 
6. Concluding Remarks 


Researchers from a range of disciplines have conducted studies to identify why one in five persons in the United States fails to complete high school. Our research contributes to this literature by exploring the link between violence victimization as a youth on subsequently dropping out of high school and years of schooling completed. This pathway has largely been neglected in prior studies, although about a third of all women and men report being the victim of violence prior to the age of 16. Using data drawn from the National Comorbidity Survey Replication (NCS-R) and the National Survey of American Life (NSAL), our analysis reveals that females and males who are the victims violence are more likely to drop out of high school relative to their peers who report that they never were the victims of violence. In addition, these negative effects appear to be driven by the effect of home violence for both genders while men also experience negative effects from community violence.