School Contextual Factors and the Relationship to Behaviors of Middle School Students
Links to Fileshttp://proxy-fs.researchport.umd.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/1806142822?accountid=27669
MetadataShow full item record
Type of Work165 pages
DepartmentDepartment of Educational Professions
ProgramDoctor of Education, Educational Leadership (Ed.D.)
RightsThe author owns the copyright to this work. This item may be protected under Title 17 of the U.S. Copyright Law. It is made available by FSU for non-commercial research and education. For permission to publish or reproduce, please contact the author.
at risk behavior
middle school environments
This descriptive study attempts to increase understanding of relationships between school contextual factors and the fostering of student prosocial development and reduced at risk behaviors among adolescent populations. Using an ethnographic design, the researcher gathered data from six rural public middle schools in Pennsylvania. Three schools with the greatest number of infractions and three with the fewest infractions per 100 eighth grade students represented both ends of the misconduct range and served as the study’s sample. Data were gathered through school site visits, primary documents, interviews of school personnel, and an on-line survey completed by each school faculty. All instruments were informed by subscale dimensions represented by the Alliance for the Study of School Climate (ASSC) School Climate Assessment Instrument (SCAI). Cross-case analysis revealed shared patterns of behavior, beliefs, and language of middle school administrators, guidance counselors, and teachers concerning factors contributing to their respective school climates. Contextual similarities and differences among school groupings were investigated through subscale dimensions of (a) faculty relations, (b) leadership and decision making, (c) discipline and management environment, and (d) attitude and culture. A paired-samples t-test of survey data revealed statistically significant mean differences for (a) leadership and decision making and (b) attitude and culture, with these variances being particularly evident after removing one school that emerged as an outlier. Data gathered from the study’s other instruments aligned with this school’s incongruous nature to all other schools of the sample.