Purpose: To investigate the association of history of school suspension (HSS) to risky behaviors and injury history.
Methods: Adult patients admitted to a Level I trauma center (n = 774) were assessed for demographics, socioeconomic status, educational history, risky behaviors (infrequent seat belt use, drinking and driving, binge drinking, and speeding for a thrill), substance abuse disorders, and prior injury history. Student’s t test and χ2 statistics were used to compare subjects with and without a HSS in relation to risky behaviors and injury history (α = 0.05). Logistic regression models were constructed with each risky behavior and injury history as the outcome adjusting for demographics, socioeconomic status, and substance abuse disorders.
Results: Patients with HSS (n = 260) were significantly younger, more likely to be male, not married, low income, Black, unemployed, smokers, and alcohol and drug dependent than patients without such history (n = 514). They had higher rates of binge drinking (66% vs. 33%), infrequent seat belt use (50% vs. 26%), drinking and driving (24% vs. 12%), and driving fast for a thrill (21% vs. 8%). Similarly, they had more frequent previous history of vehicular injuries (44% vs. 31%) and assaults (36% vs. 16%). Multivariate models revealed school suspension to be associated with infrequent seat belt use (Odds ratio [OR] = 2.02 [1.44–2.83]), binge drinking (OR = 1.95 [1.25–3.04]), speeding for a thrill (OR = 1.83 [1.15–2.92]), prior vehicular injuries (OR = 1.46 [1.06–2.02]), and assaults (OR = 1.67 [1.13–2.47]).
Conclusion: HSS is associated with risky behaviors, and history of prior vehicular crashes and assaults.