Using data from the High School Longitudinal Study of 2009 (HSLS:09)-a large nationally representative sample of US high school students-we employed multilevel structural equation modeling (SEM) to examine the relationship between school characteristics and the likelihood that a student will drop out of high school. We used a multifaceted framework on school climate to assess the degree to which school attachment, disciplinary order, disciplinary fairness, and academic climate are associated with individuals dropping out of high school. Additionally, we examined how structural and compositional characteristics of schools influence school climate and dropping out of school. Our findings indicate that attending a high school with better disciplinary order and stronger school attachment for the students is associated with a decreased likelihood of dropping out, above and beyond individual characteristics.
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