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NCJ Number: 222282 Find in a Library
Title: Teachers as Builders of Respectful School Climates: Implications for Adolescent Drug Use Norms and Depressive Symptoms in High School
Journal: Journal of Youth and Adolescence  Volume:37  Issue:4  Dated:April 2008  Pages:386-398
Author(s): Maria D. LaRusso; Daniel Romer; Robert L. Selman
Date Published: April 2008
Page Count: 13
Sponsoring Agency: American Psychological Assoc
Washington, DC 20002-4242
Institute of Education Sciences
Washington, DC 20208-5500
Grant Number: R2305U030004
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Using structural equation modeling with a nationally representative sample of 476 youth ages 14-18, this study tested whether teachers' respecting of students' perspectives and decisionmaking capabilities can help build respectful school climates that encourage healthy norms of behavior.
Abstract: The study found that high-school students who perceived their teachers as supportive and sensitive to their needs were more likely to experience favorable school climates of respect and to feel a sense of social belonging in their school. In addition, this study shows for the first time that climates of respect in high schools are related to fewer friendships with risky peers and stronger perceptions of healthy school norms that work to reduce individual risk-taking in the form of drug use. This finding is consistent with social control theory and a developmental-contextual model of social-perspective coordination. Further, climates of respect in combination with stronger social belonging were related to less experience of depressive symptoms. This research only examined drug use among youth, which is a more prevalent behavioral health problem in high schools than violence and victimization. It remains for future research to determine whether the cultivation of respect among school staff and students is sufficient to create favorable norms for reducing violence and other forms of delinquency. This study used data collected by the National Annenberg Survey of Youth (NASY) conducted in the spring and summer of 2003. The NASY is a nationally representative telephone survey of 14- to 22-year-olds in the United States. Respondents who were in high school or who had attended high school and were under age 19 (n=476) were asked a series of questions about their experiences at their most recent school. Teacher support was assessed with four items pertinent to the presence of adult role models, caring teachers, and teachers or counselors who help with school work and problems. In order to assess symptoms of depression, the survey used two items from the Youth Risk Behavior Survey. 4 tables, 1 figure, and 50 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile delinquency prevention
Index Term(s): Adolescent attitudes; Drug prevention programs; Educators; Emotional disorders; School delinquency programs; School influences on crime; Schools; Social conditions
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