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NCJ Number: 202354 Find in a Library
Title: School Social Bonds, School Climate, and School Misbehavior: A Multilevel Analysis
Journal: Justice Quarterly  Volume:20  Issue:3  Dated:September 2003  Pages:575-604
Author(s): Eric A. Stewart
Date Published: September 2003
Page Count: 30
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article discusses the extent to which individual- and school-level factors explain variation in school misbehavior.
Abstract: Researchers know little about how school delinquency varies among and within schools. To address the shortcomings of previous studies, this study presents data from the National Educational Longitudinal Study (NELS) to explore how school-level characteristics influence school misbehavior among a nationally representative sample of 10,578 students from 528 high schools. School-level characteristics include proportion non-White, school size, school poverty, school location, school social problems, and school cohesion. Multilevel modeling techniques were employed to complement and extend previous research that focused on explaining delinquency using single-level risk factors. It was hypothesized that higher levels of school attachment, school commitment, and school involvement would be significantly associated with lower levels of school misbehavior. The results show that school social bonds play a substantial role in reducing school misbehavior, net of school and individual controls. Partial support was observed for the hypothesized relationship between school climate and school misbehavior. These findings are consistent with those of prior research. The results also revealed that various dimensions of school social bonds were more important than others in predicting misbehavior. Belief in school rules was the strongest of the four social-bond predictors, followed by school attachment and school commitment. The hypothesis concerning the role of school involvement was not supported. School size and school location were associated with higher levels of school misbehavior, above and beyond the effects of individual characteristics. Further research is needed to understand the relationships among school delinquency, individual factors, and school factors, particularly among students that reside in urban areas. 5 tables, 10 footnotes, 84 references, appendix
Main Term(s): Juvenile delinquency factors; School maladjustment
Index Term(s): Education-crime relationships; Juvenile Delinquent behavior; Prediction; School influences on crime; Schools; Society-crime relationships
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