Researchers at Duke University have shown delayed entry to kindergarten linked to increased dropout risk in a new study.
The study shows a link between starting kindergarten late and dropping out of school. Students who drop out are more likely to commit serious crimes. These outcomes are more likely for children from disadvantaged backgrounds. However all children who delay kindergarten entry start out with a slight advantage.
“This research provides the first compelling evidence of a causal link between dropout and crime. It supports the view that crime outcomes should be considered in evaluating school reforms,” said lead author Philip J. Cook, a professor in Duke’s Sanford School of Public Policy, in a news release.
Dropouts are greatly over-represented in prison, so we know there is a strong association between dropping out and crime,” Cook added. “But to establish causation requires an experiment. My analysis takes advantage of nature’s experiment associated with birth date.”