SCHOOLS AS COMMUNITIES: THE RELATIONSHIPS AMONG COMMUNAL SCHOOL ORGANIZATION, STUDENT BONDING, AND SCHOOL DISORDER*

Authors


  • *

    This research was supported in part by Grant 96-MU-MU-0008 from the National Institute of Justice, U.S. Department of Justice. Additional support was provided by Grant 98-JN-FX-0004 from Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, U.S. Department of Justice, and by the U.S. Department of Education. The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the positions or policy of any sponsor. We thank Suzanne Busby, David Cantor, Scott Crosse, Ellen R. Czeh, Rebecca Gold, Irene Hantman, Elizabeth M. Jones. Jacob Lawrence, Kirsten Mackler, Felicia Morings, Nicole Piquero, April Rose, Lana Ryaboy, Gary Shapiro, Rebecca Silverman, Adriana Wade, and Shannon Womer for assistance with this research. We also thank John H. Laub, Sylvia Rosenfield, Doug Smith, Gary Lafree, Robert Bursik, and three anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments and suggestions For more information, contact Allison Ann Payne, Department of Criminology and Justice Studies, The College of New Jersey, P.O. Box 7718, Ewing, N.J. 08628–0718 (609–771–3366); payne@tcnj.edu.

  • Allison Ann Payne is Assistant Professor at The College of New Jersey, Department of Criminology and Justice Studies. She recently received her Ph.D. from the University of Maryland, Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice. Her research interests include juvenile delinquency, school-based delinquency prevention, and program evaluation. She has previously worked on an evaluation of Positive Action Through Holistic Education (PATHE) in Charleston, S.C., and an evaluation of the Strengthening Washington D.C. Families Program.

  • Denise C. Gottfredson is a Professor at the University of Maryland, Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice. She received a Ph.D. in Social Relations from The Johns Hopkins University. Gottfredson's research interests include delinquency and delinquency prevention, and particularly the effects of school environments on youth behavior. She currently directs evaluations of Baltimore City's Drug Treatment Court and the Maryland After School Opportunity Grant Fund Program, and is PI on a grant to work with the prevention community in the State of Maryland to increase the use of research-based prevention practices. She is also Co-PI on an evaluation of the Strengthening Washington D.C. Families Program.

  • Gary D. Gottfredson, president of Gottfredson Associates, Inc., specializes in psychometrics, evaluation research, career assessment, organization development, preventing problem behavior, and personality assessment. He received a Ph.D. in Psychology from The Johns Hopkins University.

Abstract

Research has indicated that school factors such as communal school organization and student bonding are predictive of school disorder, with greater communal organization and greater student bonding leading to less delinquency and victimization. Data from a nationally representative sample of 254 public, nonalternative, secondary schools were used to examine structural equation models representing hypothesized relationships among communal school organization, student bonding, and school disorder. The hypothesis that communally organized schools would have less disorder held true for teacher victimization and student delinquency, but not for student victimization. In addition, the hypothesis that the relationship between communal school organization and school disorder would be mediated by student bonding was supported for student delinquency, but not for teacher victimization.

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