School suspension is associated with school drop-out, crime, delinquency, and alcohol and other drug use for the suspended student. Important research questions are how academic and related factors are relevant to the school suspension process and the generality of the process in different sites. State representative samples of Grade 7 students (N = 1,945) in Washington State, United States and Victoria, Australia were followed from 2002 to 2004. In both states, Grade 7 school suspension was associated with higher rates of nonviolent antisocial behavior and suspension 24 months later, before Grade 8 factors were entered into the model. Relevant factors were Grade 8 low school grades and association with antisocial peers, as well as Grade 8 antisocial behavior in Washington State only. The implications of these findings for the ways in which suspension is used in schools are outlined.
Keywords: adolescence; antisocial behavior; predictors; school exclusion; school suspension.