Protective Connections and Educational Attainment Among Young Adults With Childhood-Onset Chronic Illness

Gary Maslow, Abigail A. Haydon, Annie Laurie Mcree, Carolyn T. Halpern

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Youth with childhood-onset chronic illness (COCI) are at risk of poor educational attainment. Specific protective factors that promote college graduation in this population have not been studied previously. In this study, we examine the role protective factors during adolescence play in promoting college graduation among young adults with COCI. METHODS: Data were collected from 10,925 participants in the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health). Protective factors present before 18 years of age included mentoring, parent relationship quality, school connectedness, and religious attendance. College graduation was the outcome of interest assessed when participants had a mean age of 28 years. Analysis was stratified by presence of COCI. RESULTS: About 2% of participants (N = 230) had 1 of 4 COCIs (cancer, diabetes, epilepsy, or heart disease). All 4 protective factors were associated with college graduation for youth without COCI. In the final multivariate model, only school connectedness was associated with college graduation for youth with COCI. CONCLUSION: School connectedness is of particular importance in promoting educational attainment for youth with COCI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)364-370
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of School Health
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2012


  • Child and adolescent health
  • Chronic diseases
  • Growth and development
  • Public health

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

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