Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
Kyonboon Kwon, Anthony Hains, Nancy Rice
Connectedness, Educational Attainment, Risk-taking, Safety, School Climate, Urban Schools
The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships between school climate and the outcomes of risk-taking behaviors and self-reported beliefs regarding educational attainment. A school climate survey was administered to students attending an urban high school, and three perceptions of school climate were measured: Teacher-student relationships, safety, and attitude toward the school environment. Students also completed measures of self-reported risk-taking behaviors and beliefs regarding educational attainment. A total of 456 students were included in the current sample. Preliminary analyses indicated that a higher GPA was significantly associated with lower risk-taking behaviors, and also with self-reported beliefs regarding better educational attainment outcomes. Regression analyses were conducted to explore whether school climate was predictive of risk-taking behaviors after controlling for self-reported GPA. Results indicated that whereas self-reported GPA and student attitudes toward the school environment were predictive of risk-taking behaviors, the other school climate variables did not predict risk-taking. Regression analyses were also conducted to explore whether school climate was predictive of self-reported beliefs regarding educational attainment after controlling for self-reported GPA and gender. Results indicated that while GPA did significantly predict self-reported beliefs regarding educational attainment, school climate did not. Mediation analyses were conducted in order to explore how a feeling of connectedness mediates the relationship between school climate and risk-taking behaviors, and the relationship between school climate and self-reported beliefs regarding educational attainment. Results suggested that while a feeling of connectedness was not found to mediate the relationship between school climate and risk-taking behaviors, a feeling of connectedness or belonging was shown to mediate the relationship between school climate and self-reported belief regarding educational attainment. The results of this study highlight a need for further research on student attitudes toward the school environment in relation to the outcome of risk, as well as the importance of fostering stronger feelings of connectedness to the school community in order to increase motivation for educational attainment.
Reynolds, Caitlin Elizabeth, "Perceived Climate in Urban Schools: an Examination of Risk-Taking Behavior and Self-Reported Beliefs Regarding Educational Attainment" (2015). Theses and Dissertations. 1075.