School-based health clinics (SBCs) have been promoted as an innovative approach to providing adolescent health care. The present study examined the effect of a SBC on academic success. We studied the effect of clinic registration and use on students' absence, suspension, withdrawal, and graduation or promotion rates in an alternative high school for students who were not able to succeed in traditional educational programs. On average, these 322 high-risk students attended school only 56% of the time; 24% were suspended; and only 26% graduated or were promoted. The 189 (59%) students who were registered to use the clinic and the 159 (49%) who actually used the clinic were as likely to be absent or to be suspended as non-registered students. However, students who used the clinic were significantly more likely to stay in school, and to graduate or be promoted than students who were not registered for the clinic. This relationship was strongest for black males; those who used the clinic were nearly three times [odds ratio = 0.35; 95% confidence interval (CI) = (0.16-0.78)] more likely to stay in school than those who did not use the clinic. In multiple linear regression models predicting school performance, only clinic use and percent of enrolled days absent were significantly associated with graduation/promotion, and these two variables predicted 23% of the variance in promotion status.
- School-based clinic School performance Adolescent School dropout
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Psychiatry and Mental health