In this paper we investigate how successful social bonding theory is at predicting juveniledelinquency and school dropout behaviour. We adopt a simple dynamic approach whichassumes that past involvement in risky behaviour reduces individual restraints forfuture participation in risky behaviour. We use a ten years education panel followingDutch adolescents who participated in a survey in their first year of high school in 1999.This information was matched to annual information on police arrests based on registrydata. Our results show that school performance (as measured by test scores) is the keysocial bond element preventing young people from engaging in risk behaviour. We alsofind that involvement in past risky behaviour increases the likelihood of future misstepsand that the protective influence of school performance is mitigated.