School climate and diversity may affect students’ delinquent behaviours

In a Journal of School Health study, race, sex, perceived peer inclusion, and teacher discrimination were predictors of students’ delinquent behaviours.

As expected, the study of 8947 African American and White students found that being a male was associated with higher delinquent behaviour scores. Conversely, being an African American was associated with lower delinquent behaviour scores. Similarly, students who perceived their school climate to be non-discriminatory and inclusive reported lower delinquent behaviour scores. These findings indicate students’ perceptions of their school climate may be an important influence on students’ delinquent behaviours.

Surprisingly, as schools’ average perceived peer inclusion increased, so did students’ delinquent behaviour scores. The study also found that as the average percentage of African American teachers in schools increased, students’ delinquent behaviour scores decreased.

“It is not surprising that increasing school diversity is important to reduce both African American and White students’ delinquent behaviours,” said corresponding author Dr Brittany Darlene Chambers, of the University of California, San Francisco. “Findings from this study stress the need for programs to incentivise teachers of colour to enter and remain in our school systems.”

More information: Race, Sex, and Discrimination in School Settings: A Multilevel Analysis of Associations With Delinquency. Journal of School Health. DOI: 10.1111/josh.12589

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The Editorial Account of UKEdChat, managed by editor-in-chief Colin Hill, with support from Martin Burrett from the UKEd Magazine. Pedagogy, Resources, Community.

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