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Macro-Level Model of School Disorder

NCJ Number
Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency Volume: 37 Issue: 3 Dated: August 2000 Pages: 243-283
Date Published
August 2000
41 pages

This article examines the influence of major institutional and community factors on disorder in Philadelphia public schools.


The article draws on school climate theory and social disorganization theory, and uses U.S. census data, school district data, and police data to examine the following predictors of disorder in 43 middle schools: community poverty and residential stability, community crime, school size, and school stability. Community was conceptualized as local (the census tract around the school) and imported (aggregated measures from the census tracts in which students actually reside). The study used path analysis to examine direct and indirect relationships between community characteristics and school size, school stability, and school disorder. The local community model fit the data better than the imported model. The communities immediately surrounding schools had a stronger influence on school disorder than the communities from which students were drawn. Community poverty had strong indirect effects on school disorder in both models. The effects of community variables on school disorder were strongly mediated by school stability. Figures, tables, appendixes, notes, references

Date Published: August 1, 2000