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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 149645 Find in a Library
Title: School and Delinquency in a Contextual Perspective
Author(s): P Linstrom
Date Published: 1993
Page Count: 200
Sponsoring Agency: National Council for Crime Prevention
S-113 21 Stockholm, Sweden
Publication Number: ISBN 91-38-12906-X
Sale Source: National Council for Crime Prevention
P.O. Box 1386
S-113 21 Stockholm,
Type: Survey
Language: English
Country: Sweden
Annotation: This study examines whether social problem behaviors, i.e., delinquency, substance use, and school problems, among Swedish junior high school adolescents are affected by the social context of school, once individual-related characteristics have been taken into account.
Abstract: The social context of school is operationalized by characteristics of the student body, such as the average socioeconomic status structure, the proportion of disrupted families, average family size, and family interaction. Internal school characteristics are also involved, including the proportion of qualified teachers, the number of students per teacher, and an index that measures the students' perceptions of the school's social climate. At the individual level, various social background measures have been included. Data were collected through a questionnaire administered to approximately 800 students in the ninth grade in eight junior high schools. Confirmatory and exploratory factor analysis found that self-reported delinquent and deviant behaviors can be divided into common problem behaviors, such as shoplifting, vandalism, alcohol use, and school misbehavior, and more serious problem behaviors, such as vehicle theft, burglary, and drug abuse. Multiple regression analysis found that the individual-level characteristics accounted for the largest part of the overall small variance explained in both common and serious problem behaviors; however, for boys school-related characteristics regarding aggregated family interaction also contributed to involvement in deviant behavior. None of the internal school characteristics were significant. The overall implication of this study is that parental involvement both at the individual level and at the aggregated school level generates a social capital that is important in preventing junior high school adolescents from engaging in deviant behavior. School-based delinquency prevention programs should focus on cooperation between the school and the family. 31 tables and 288 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile delinquency factors
Index Term(s): Criminology; Foreign juvenile delinquency; School influences on crime; Social conditions
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