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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 49003 Find in a Library
Title: SCHOLASTIC EXPERIENCES, SELF-ESTEEM, AND DELINQUENT BEHAVIOR - A THEORY FOR ALTERNATIVE SCHOOLS
Journal: CRIME AND DELINQUENCY  Volume:24  Issue:3  Dated:(JULY 1978)  Pages:290-308
Author(s): M GOLD
Corporate Author: National Council on Crime and Delinquency
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 19
Sponsoring Agency: National Council on Crime and Delinquency
Des Moines, IA 50316
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THEORY AND DATA ARE PRESENTED WHICH INDICATE THAT CERTAIN ALTERNATIVE EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS ARE A PROMISING MEANS OF PREVENTING AND TREATING DELINQUENT BEHAVIOR.
Abstract: RESULTS FROM VARIOUS STUDIES ARE USED TO DEVELOP THE THEORY THAT DELINQUENT BEHAVIOR IS A MANIFESTATION OF A PSYCHOLOGICAL DEFENSE AGAINST THREATS TO SELF-ESTEEM. BELIEVING THAT THE TRADITIONAL STANDARDS OF SUCCESS AND FAILURE SET BY THE SCHOOL SYSTEM ARE INSTRUMENTAL IN CONDITIONING PERCEPTIONS OF SELF-WORTH AMONG STUDENTS BASED ON ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT, IT IS PROPOSED THAT CHILDREN AND YOUTHS FAILING IN THIS ROLE WILL INSTINCTIVELY PROBE FOR NONACADEMIC BEHAVIORS TO DRAW RECOGNITION FROM THEIR PEERS AND TO DEFEND AGAINST A DETERIORATING SENSE OF SELF-ESTEEM IN THEIR STUDENT ROLE. SUCH RECOGNITION IS OFTEN GAINED BY ACTING OUT HOSTILITY AIMED AT SCHOOL AND AUTHORITY FIGURES THAT OTHER STUDENTS FEEL, BUT DO NOT EXPRESS. DELINQUENT BEHAVIOR MAY BECOME SOCIALIZED WITHIN A SUBCULTURE OF YOUTHS WHO CANNOT SUCCEED IN THE ADULT-STRUCTURED SCHOOL SYSTEM, A SUBCULTURE THAT SETS ITS OWN MEASURES OF WORTH THROUGH DELINQUENT BEHAVIOR. IT IS CONSIDERED THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE SCHOOL TO DESENSITIZE THE PAIN AND DEFENSE MECHANISMS THAT ARISE BECAUSE OF ACADEMIC FAILURE MEASURED BY TRADITIONAL NORMS. IT IS BELIEVED THIS CAN BE DONE BY STRUCTURING ALTERNATIVE LEARNING PROCESSES FOR THOSE WHO CANNOT ACHIEVE REASONABLE SUCCESS IN THE TRADITIONAL ACADEMIC PATTERNS. SUCH PROGRAMS WOULD: BE APPROPRIATE TO THE STUDENT'S PRESENT LEVEL OF SKILLS; APPEAL TO THE STUDENT'S OWN INTEREST; ALLOW PROGRESS AT AN INDIVIDUAL PACE; PERMIT EVALUATION OF PROGRESS IN RELATION TO THE STUDENT'S OWN PREVIOUS LEVEL OF ACHIEVEMENT; AND PERMIT THE DEVELOPMENT OF A WARM, ACCEPTING RELATIONSHIP WITH THE STUDENT'S TEACHER. THE OVERALL INTENT OF THIS ALTERNATIVE EDUCATIONAL CLIMATE WOULD BE TO PRECLUDE THE DEVELOPMENT OF FEELINGS OF LOW SELF-ESTEEM BY DISMANTLING THE SYSTEM THAT STIMULATES SUCH FEELINGS AND SURROUNDING THE STUDENT WITH FEEDBACK THAT AFFIRMS THE IMPORTANCE OF WHAT IS DONE AT WHATEVER LEVEL OF DEVELOPMENT. NOTES ARE PROVIDED. (RCB)
Index Term(s): Education; Juvenile delinquency factors; Juvenile delinquency prevention; Milieu therapy; Self concept; Theory
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=49003

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