Poverty and high school graduation: What are the associated variables?

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Education is pivotal to a better life for many individuals. Unfortunately, a large number of adolescents in poverty fail to complete high school; thereby limiting their opportunities for better employment options. However, there are adolescents who live in poverty and successfully complete high school, despite the adversities. This study, using archival data from the High School Longitudinal Studies of 2009 (HSLS:09) dataset, examined over 130 variables divided into four domains, family, school, teacher, and subjective well-being, and their influences on adolescents living in poverty who complete high school. Correlations and multiple regressions analysis were used to determine the predictors that were statistically significant in identifying which factors were associated with students who completed high school. Results of this study revealed several variables of significance for each research question. Family variables included parents in the home, parents' education level, mobility, and suspension as significantly related to high school graduation. School variables significantly related to high school completion included adequate resources, disrespect perceived by the teacher, and the math teacher not returning. Teacher variables statistically significant were math teacher entered education through alternative certification program and the science teacher sets high standards for students' learning. Student well-being variable results that were statistically significant in this study included getting good grades is important to the student, student's perception that the science teacher treats all students fairly, adolescent works for wages, and student's closest friend plan to go to college.