A study by researchers in Washington state has found that high school students who used school-based health centers were somewhat less likely to drop out, and more likely to delay dropping out of school, than their peers who did not use those centers.
Focusing on 3,334 students scheduled to graduate in 2009 in an unnamed urban school district, researchers found that students who used a school-based health center were more likely to be black, female, have visited the school nurse separately from the center, and be eligible for free or reduced-price meals.
The dropout rate for clinic-users was 15 percent, compared with 27 percent for the district.
While the researchers acknowledged that there are many other influences on student dropout rates, they said providing greater access to needed health services should be considered among other comprehensive dropout-prevention strategies.
A version of this article appeared in the March 16, 2011 edition of Education Week as School Health Centers