5 de abril de 2014

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


Socio-ecological models of victimization reporting incorporate normative constraints and instrumental considerations at the individual and contextual levels. Drawing on this model, we explore 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 are used to explore these relationships. We find that individual-level factors are the primary determinants of reporting attitudes, but school context is also important. Students are more willing to report misbehavior in schools with democratic authority structures and consistent enforcement of school rules. Attitudes toward reporting are less favorable when the school culture is supportive of a street code, and the effect of street code culture is fully explained by students’ personal norms and experiences. We also find evidence that personal adherence to a street code moderates the effect of school context on reporting attitudes. Implications for theory and practice are discussed.

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