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Adolescence risk behavior and school climate: the role of a multi-level social environment

Priority areas of development: sociology
2020

Goal of research

The aim of the study was to study the role of teachers and parents in shaping the school climate and reducing the risk behavior of adolescents at different levels: taking into account the differences in the socio-economic context and features of educational policy at the regional level, the socio-economic characteristics of the settlements and the characteristics of the school.

Methods

Analysis of quantitative and qualitative data was carried out. As for the methods of quantitative data analysis, the following approaches were applied: descriptive statistics, factor and correlation analysis, regression analysis (including multilevel analysis), and structural equation modeling.

Empirical data

The empirical base of the project was formed by the data collected by the Laboratory in the current and previous years, including: (1) 17,946 students from 249 schools in the Kaluga region - 2019; (2) 1,052 students from 13 professional colleges in St. Petersburg - 2018; (3) 7,381 students from 100 schools in St. Petersburg - 2010; (4) 2,274 parents of the 1st and 2nd grade pupils of St. Petersburg schools - 2016-2018; (4) 70 interviews with migrant parents and employees of multinational schools in St. Petersburg - 2019-2020; (5) data of social passports and open data of Kalugastat on 190 schools – 2020.

Results of work

The results of the project demonstrate the importance of such a component of the school climate as discipline, as well as of the role of adults’ behavior, especially that of the school workers. It is proven that if schools have rules that children understand and consider to be fair, the level of aggression and victimization at school is low, the classroom environment is perceived as safer, and academic performance, along with motivation to get education, is high.

Adult support helps students cope with depression and anxiety, and contributes to academic success, while their aggression leads to negative consequences and affects many aspects of children's school life. Situations in which students are afraid of teachers lead to increased anxiety and depression, bullying and victimization, and a decrease of academic motivation.

Teacher aggression, as well as domestic violence, is positively associated with the formation of moral disengagement in adolescents. In turn, if aggression in the classroom becomes a norm, then schoolchildren are less willing to seek help in case of victimization. In such conditions, schoolchildren can justify aggression, which is associated with the greater frequency of its use in communication with peers.

Checking the connection between individual and environmental factors with the risky sexual behavior of adolescents showed that the actual behavior of a teenager is not directly related to either the level of sexual literacy, or the presence of erroneous knowledge, or the negative experience of friends.

 A study of factors of various levels associated with such a school climate problem as bullying revealed that gender plays the main role at the individual level (boys behave more aggressively than girls and less often become victims) and student performance (excellent students rarely become aggressors or victims). Belonging to a visible ethnic minority increases the risk of becoming a bully in the school environment. At the school level, the status of the school matters (in gymnasiums / lyceums, bullying is less common than in regular schools), the settlement level did not show any influence.

The degree of implementation, recommendations for implementation or the results of the implementation of research results

The methodology developed this year for measuring school discipline, aggression and support from adults at school allows us to measure these important characteristics of the school climate, which in the future makes it possible to develop and implement educational policy measures adequate to the local situation.

Each educational institution included in the sample receives a report with its results against the background of the entire sample. Schools and colleges receive information on the socio-psychological characteristics of students, their involvement, risk behavior, etc., in the case of longitudinal research, the report reflects the temporal dynamics at the level of the educational institution or at the level of study groups. The results of measurements in the reports are presented in an aggregated form, with the observance of the anonymity of the respondents.

The results of the project are intended to help educational institutions in monitoring the emotional well-being of students and their risk behavior, and can also be used by the Education Committee for educational policy and for the implementation of targeted measures.

Publications:


Баранова В. В., Федорова К. С. Видимо-невидимо: миграция и трансформация языкового ландшафта Санкт-Петербурга // Laboratorium. Журнал социальных исследований. 2020. Т. 12. № 1. C. 48-80. doi
Тыканова Е. В., Тенишева К. А. В ПЛЕНУ «ЭФФЕКТА СОСЕДСТВА»: СОЦИАЛЬНЫЙ КАПИТАЛ И АКТИВИЗМ В НОВЫХ АНКЛАВНЫХ ЖИЛИЩНЫХ КОМПЛЕКСАХ // Журнал социологии и социальной антропологии. 2020. Т. 23. № 2. C. 7-35. doi
Musabirov I., Suschevskiy V. Teaching Undergraduate Sociologists Modeling and Computational Thinking, in: SIGCSE '20: Proceedings of the 51st ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education. New York : Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), 2020. С. 1368-1368.