Date of Award

2002

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

School

School of Education

Program

Higher Education Administration PhD

First Advisor

Lyndon G. Furst

Second Advisor

Hinsdale Bernard

Third Advisor

Hazel Wright

Abstract

Problem. This study investigated parents' perceptions of the psychosocial determinants of middle- and high-school violence.

Method. Phase Four of the Predisposing, Reinforcing, and Enabling Constructs in Educational Diagnosis and Evaluation (PRECEDE) model, developed by Lawrence Green, was utilized to examine the perceptions of parents regarding the psychosocial determinants of middle- and high-school violence. Respondents were 191 parents whose children were suspended for school violence. One-way ANOVAs were used to analyze the influence ofgender, age, education, family structure, and income on school violence.

Results. Parents believed their children would solve problems using nonviolent means but they responded in a violent manner at school. The parents indicated that all stakeholders should be involved in violence reduction. They believed that parents are underutilized and could play a more active role in reducing school violence.

Suspensions, detentions, sending the child to the principal and/or counselor, and having teachers stand in the hallways between classes were perceived as moderately effective. Strategies such as programs that teach problem solving, after-school activities for students, bringing the parent into the school, school staff violence development programs, and parent development programs were believed to be highly effective.

Parents indicated that inconsistency in discipline was a significant contributing factor to school violence. Administrators and staff should be perceived as being fair and consistent in the implementation of school policies.

The study included the perceptions of fathers and male guardians regarding violence in schools. Males, as well as females, did not view violence as an appropriate response to school issues facing their children.

Conclusions. The results indicated that Phase IV of the PRECEDE model is partially supported. Forty of the 290 variables related to predisposing, reinforcing, and enabling factors were significantly different.

Subject Area

School violence, Parent-teacher relationships, School discipline

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