Resources for parents of at-risk and troubled teens.



November 2010

Why Teens Drop Out of School

by Staff, on at risk youth, high school dropouts, teen dropouts, teens drop out of school, why teens drop out of school

We often ask ourselves why some teens drop out of school. While some may have obvious reasons, other teens seem like a mystery and we have a hard time figuring out why some of them would drop out.


Not all students are equal, some simply have special needs and school becomes too hard for them. This includes children with emotional issues, behavioral problems, learning disabilities and other teen problems that may interfere with their school work and the ability to learn. But these are not the only reasons; some kids from certain cultural background simply fail to blend into a school where another ethnicity is dominant. There are also teens that come from homes which are not supportive enough and they lack the motivation to finish school.


Teens that drop out can be from both rich and poor families, but poor children with low economic standards and children of single parents have a higher risk of dropping out of high school. The rates of teens that drop out of schools depend on various factors. Teen boys are more likely to drop out of school than girls. Also Hispanic and African American teens are more likely to drop out than Asian American students and Caucasians. Students in large cities are also more likely to drop out than students from small towns and suburbs.


As you can see dropping out of school can happen because of learning issues and development or even because of social factors like ethnicity and family heritage. Some of the most common reasons that influence a teen to drop out of school include:


-      History of poor academic achievements

-      Older than classmates due to being left behind

-      Emotional issues

-      Behavioral problems

-      Learning disabilities

-      Influence by low achieving peers

-      Low attendance

-      Social issues

-      Family problems


The reasons are plenty, and they can go from family issues and even history of abuse, drug related issues, mental problems to social issues, low standard, peer pressure, up to medical issues like poor health.


Some teens get pregnant so they drop out of school, some teens simply lost interest. One of the factors is the teacher’s attitude and behavior towards students. Most students that dropped out of school reported that they were either ignored and not given enough attention by their teachers or that they were actually encouraged by their teachers to drop out of school. We all know that a teacher can sometimes go after a student; the pressure can very well be the cause of dropping out.


Again, the reasons are plenty and as such it is hard to concentrate on prevention as various factors influence this outcome. Staff