School exclusion drug use and antisocial behaviour at 15/16 years: Implications for youth transitions

Patrick McCrystal*, Andrew Percy, Kathryn Higgins

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Young people excluded from school face additional challenges compared with their contemporaries in mainstream school throughout adolescence, particularly at the end of compulsory schooling when aged 16 years. This paper reports on the experiences of 77 young people excluded from school at year 12 when aged 15/16 years. They were participating in the Belfast Youth Development Study during the period immediately prior to the end of compulsory schooling. The findings provide a profile of the lives of these young people as they approach the developmental period referred to as 'youth transitions'. These young people reported high levels of antisocial behaviour and increasing detachment from the norms of mainstream society at a time when most young people are preparing to make the transition from adolescence to adulthood. This raises questions about the impact of targeted initiatives for addressing disaffection with school and their value for preparing young people for the transition to adulthood who may instead enter a period of NEET (Not in Education Employment or Training).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-190
Number of pages10
JournalVulnerable Children and Youth Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 01 Dec 2007


  • School exclusion
  • Youth transitions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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