Research indicates that youth's educational expectations – or their plans for future educational attainment – are shaped by their experiences with adversity across the early life course, and are often preceded by school disengagement (e.g., cognitive and emotional detachment from school). The present study employs data from the United Kingdom to examine linkages between youths’ experiencing being stopped by the police and educational expectations, and whether school disengagement and associated factors might explain this relationship. The findings indicate that being stopped by the police was related to diminished educational expectations among youth concerning the continuation of secondary and post-secondary education. This association was consistent across stops with differing features (albeit somewhat larger when youth were warned/cautioned by police) and was partially explained by school disengagement and, to a lesser extent, academic self-concept. Our findings suggest that the provision of social support that re-engages these youths to build trust and attachment with educational institutions will be critical in mitigating the educational damages stemming from police contact.
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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science