When does school engagement matter most? : examining the reciprocal association between school engagement and delinquency across time



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Research indicates that school engagement (SE) and delinquency affect one another and share numerous common causes; however, little literature exists regarding the temporal nature of this relationship. Using the data set from the Children and Young Adult Sample of the 1979 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, the proposed study will estimate the reciprocal effects of SE and delinquency across time using latent variable structural equation modeling. Specifically, social bonding theory (Hirschi, 2002), strain theory (Agnew, 1992), and the participation-identification model of SE (Finn, 1989), will be drawn upon to create and analyze a cross-lagged panel model. Additionally, this study will identify ages during which school disengagement is most likely to result in participation in delinquent activities.