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The Code of Silence in Schools: An Assessment of a Socio-Ecological Model of Youths Willingness to Report School Misbehavior

NCJ Number
Youth & Society Volume: 49 Issue: 2 Dated: 2017 Pages: 123-149
Date Published
April 2014
27 pages
Since socio-ecological models of victimization-reporting incorporate normative constraints and instrumental considerations at the individual and contextual levels, the study reported in this article drew on this model in examining factors related to students' willingness to report problem behaviors that they might observe in school.
Data obtained from student and teacher/administrator surveys and administrative data were used to analyze these relationships. The study found that individual-level factors were the primary determinants of reporting attitudes, but school context was also important. Students were more willing to report misbehavior in schools with democratic authority structures and consistent enforcement of school rules. Attitudes toward reporting were less favorable when the school culture was supportive of a street code, and the effect of street code culture was fully explained by students' personal norms and experiences. The study also found evidence that personal adherence to a street code moderated the effect of school context on reporting attitudes. Implications for theory and practice are discussed. (Publisher abstract modified)

Date Published: April 1, 2014