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NCJ Number: 222379 Find in a Library
Title: Examining Strain in a School Context
Journal: Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice  Volume:6  Issue:2  Dated:April 2008  Pages:115-135
Author(s): Daniel R. Lee; Jeffrey W. Cohen
Date Published: April 2008
Page Count: 21
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examined the relationship between schools and delinquency within a general strain theory perspective.
Abstract: Findings showed that exposure to violence and crime while at school was consistently related to higher contemporaneous levels of fighting, truancy, and substance use, while controlling for other measures of strain such as a more general negative effect. Feeling unsafe was also significantly related to higher contemporaneous levels of fighting and truancy, although it was not significantly related to substance use. School atmosphere was negatively related to each measure of delinquency, but the only other school-based measure related to lower levels of delinquency was administrative recognition, and this relationship was limited to significant reductions in truancy and substance use. Contrary to expectations, involvement in school-based activities did not reduce participation in the measures of delinquency considered, but it is apparent that certain school experiences can act to reduce delinquency, whereas others can act to increase delinquency. The findings suggest that schools can decrease the involvement and delinquency among students, first, by producing a more positive atmosphere and promoting recognition of those students more committed to or doing well in the school setting. Furthermore, expecting students to simply find opportunities for positive coping through school activities is not an effective approach to controlling delinquency. Schools should develop more direct ways to decrease levels of school strain and create a more positive effective state among students. Data were collected as part of the National Longitudinal Education Study administered to a national probability sample of students in 1988. Followup surveys were administered at 2-year intervals beginning in 1990. Total sample size for both followups used in this analysis was 12,144 students. Figures, tables, appendix, and references
Main Term(s): School influences on crime; School security
Index Term(s): Education; Educational benefits; Equal opportunity education; Public schools; Violence causes
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