WHAT SCHOOLS CAN DO: AN EXPLORATION OF PERSONAL AND SCHOOL FACTORS IN YOUTH SEXTING BEHAVIORS AND RELATED ATTITUDES
AuthorBoden, Joshua M.
Committee memberDuCette, Joseph P.
Gross, Steven Jay
Permanent link to this recordhttp://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12613/823
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AbstractAs social technologies become more integrated into students’ lives, new means of communication have emerged, along with novel problem behaviors with significant consequences for students’ well-being. One of these is the sending of sexualized images via cell phone, referred to as “sexting”. An understanding of how and why some students choose to sext is important for schools to appropriately prepare for sexting-related incidents. This study explored some of the personal and environmental correlates of the behavior, including gender, thrill-seeking, impulsivity, perceived school experience, and related attitudes about the normalcy and risk of the behavior. Participants were college undergraduates from a large urban university, retrospectively reporting about their high school experience. Results indicated that the majority of students did not send sexts in high school. However, of those who did, students who sexted exclusively with romantic partners had significantly more positive engagement in school. Students with lower feelings of connectedness, academic motivation, and social belonging in high school tended to sext in riskier ways. Additionally, recent high school graduates were asked if and how schools should effectively educate students about the risks of sexting. These perspectives were assessed through survey questions and a focus group discussion session. Results suggested that students do recognize the potential consequences of the behavior, regardless of what teachers tell them. They feel that, rather than using “scare tactics”, school personnel should try to understand the social and relational context in which the behavior occurs. Limitations of this research are discussed, along with implications and recommendation for practice and future research.
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The effects of school uniforms on school climate in elementary schoolIkpa, Vivian W.; Davis, James Earl, 1960-; DuCette, Joseph P.; Sanford-DeShields, Jayminn (Temple University. Libraries, 2009)This research sought to explore the link between mandatory school uniforms and a positive school climate. Beginning in the late 1980's public schools implemented mandatory school uniforms policies in urban school districts. The trend gained momentum when President Clinton included school uniforms in his 1996 State of the Union Address. Directly following the speech was a publication by the United States Department of Education on school uniforms that was distributed to all school districts in the country. Often the primary reason for implementing school uniforms was gang violence. Other reason included increased school safety and decreases in violence. Further, proponents believed uniforms would increase academic achievement and improve school climate. Research on the effects of school uniforms is limited and conflicting. Most studies available to date were conducted in urban settings. However, school uniforms have infiltrated rural and suburban schools districts as well. Two school districts in suburban Eastern Pennsylvania participated in this study. One school district had a mandatory school uniform policy. The other did not. Using a school climate survey and school uniform questionnaire, students in grades 4-6 and elementary school teachers rated the school climate in their respective schools. School climate was rated on seven subscales on the student school climate survey and 10 subscales on the faculty school climate survey. A t-test was performed on the data set to determine the difference between sample means and a factor analysis was conducted on the student school climate survey. Further, three themes emerged from the short answer questions on the student uniform questionnaire. The results of the research found that there was not a statistically significant relationship between a mandatory school uniform policy and elementary school students' perceptions of school climate. Of the seven subscales, students who wore school uniforms rated their peer relationships higher than students without school uniforms. Additionally, they rated the required rigor higher. Students that did not wear school uniforms rated the teacher-student relationship higher. When responding to the open ended questions, three themes emerged. They were expression, atmosphere and family. In essence, students were not in favor of wearing uniforms and believed uniforms suppressed their freedom of expression. Teachers responded similarly. The results showed no statistically significant relationship between a mandatory school uniform policy and teacher perceptions of school climate. Only two subscales showed any significant difference between the two groups of teachers. They were teacher-administrator relationship and student achievement. In both respects, teachers in the district without uniforms responded more positively. The results of this study should be used when reviewing current policy or considering new policy on school uniforms.
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