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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 70152 Find in a Library
Title: Labeling and the Consequences of Wearing a Delinquent Label in a School Setting
Journal: Education  Volume:97  Issue:4  Dated:(Summer 1977)  Pages:371-380
Author(s): D H Kelly
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 10
Sponsoring Agency: State University of New York Research Foundation
Binghamton, NY 13902-6000
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: To determine whether the label 'official delinquent' is associated with specific personal and social liabilities in the school setting, 478 high school juniors and seniors were surveyed.
Abstract: Official delinquents were compared with self-reported delinquents and nondelinquents in four areas: negative attitudes towards the school, attitudes toward teachers and classmates, academic performance and involvement, and school misconduct and general youth deviance. A total of 478 usable self-report questionnaires were collected from all juniors and seniors attending a high school in a medium-sized, working-class community in eastern New York State. Thirteen dependent measures were included in questions relating to the respondents' attitudes, grades, failure of classes or grades, school misconduct and probation, expulsion, drinking, and marihuana smoking. Subjects were grouped in three categories: official delinquents who had been arrested or had appeared in court, self-report delinquents without arrests or court appearances, and nondelinquents. A total of 45 percent of the official delinquents disliked school, compared to 39 percent and 29 percent respectively for the self-report and nondelinquents. This result was not statistically significant. Official delinquents were, however, significantly more likely than nondelinquents to view their teachers negatively. Official delinquents were more apt than nondelinquents to be currently failing and to have failed a course, although self-report delinquents displayed the highest percentage of failure. Finally, official delinquents were more likely than nondelinquents to report school misconduct and youth deviance problems. Males and those from low social classes were overrepresented among the self-report and official delinquents. Overall, official delinquents stood at a distinct disadvantage relative to their peers within the classroom setting. Findings indicated that self-report delinquents may have been informally typed as deviants and, therefore, may be reacting against such treatment. A review of related studies, tables, footnotes and 20 references are included.
Index Term(s): Adolescent attitudes; Juvenile Delinquent-nondelinquent comparisons; Labeling theory; Problem behavior; Students; Ungovernable juveniles
Note: Revision of a paper presented at the National Conference on Urban Education, November, 1975, Kansas City (MO)
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