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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 77894 Find in a Library
Title: School Vandalism - Cause and Cure
Author(s): R B Williams; J L Venturini
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 106
Type: Bibliography
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Possible contributing causes of school vandalism are discussed, and prevention strategies involving the cooperation of family, school personnel, students, and the community are described.
Abstract: Studies indicate that vandalizing behavior can be spawned by many direct and indirect influences on youth. Many researchers focus on the school as the primary factor in vandalizing behavior, citing inadequate curricula and reward systems as precipitative of destructive student behavior. School locations (urban, suburban, or rural) also appear to affect school vandalism. Teachers and administrators who are rule-oriented and achievement-oriented rather than student-oriented have also been cited as factors in rebellious student behavior. Home and family, as well as larger community and societal influences, have also been identified as harboring influences that impact vandalizing behavior. Families that fail to cultivate ego strength and firm values in their children and a peer society that seeks fulfillment in drug use can contribute to disorientation and violence among youth. Further, community institutions and agencies that fail to provide attention to and support for troubled youth give them few alternatives to acting out destructive emotions. Prevention strategies should focus on the design and use of current and proposed school facilities, including security features; the training of school personnel to be sensitive to individual student needs; the involvement of the community, including families, in providing and encouraging alternatives for positive behavior and development for youth; and the creation of a learning environment that builds rather than undermines student self-images. A series of recommendations for vandalism prevention is offered for each of these areas. Vandalism prevention strategies suggested from a survey of New Jersey school superintendents are also provided. Footnotes, an index, and a bibliography containing over 200 entries are provided.
Index Term(s): Juvenile delinquency factors; Juvenile delinquency prevention; School delinquency programs; School security; School vandalism
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