National Archive of Criminal Justice Data

This dataset is maintained and distributed by the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data (NACJD), the criminal justice archive within ICPSR. NACJD is primarily sponsored by three agencies within the U.S. Department of Justice: the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

Controlling Victimization in Schools: Effective Discipline and Control Strategies in a County in Ohio, 1994 (ICPSR 2587) RSS

Principal Investigator(s):

Summary:

The purpose of this study was to gather evidence on the relationship between discipline and the control of victimization in schools and to investigate the effectiveness of humanistic versus coercive disciplinary measures. Survey data were obtained from students, teachers, and principals in each of the 44 junior and senior high schools in a county in Ohio that agreed to participate in the study. The data represent roughly a six-month time frame. Students in grades 7 through 12 were anonymously surveyed in February 1994. The Student Survey (Part 1) was randomly distributed to approximately half of the students in all classrooms in each school. The other half of the students received a different survey that focused on drug use among students (not available with this collection). The teacher (Part 2) and principal (Part 3) surveys were completed at the same time as the student survey. The principal survey included both closed-ended and open-ended questions, while all questions on the student and teacher surveys were closed-ended, with a finite set of answers from which to choose. The three questionnaires were designed to gather respondent demographics, perceptions about school discipline and control, information about weapons and gangs in the school, and perceptions about school crime, including personal victimization and responses to victimization. All three surveys asked whether the school had a student court and, if so, what sanctions could be imposed by the student court for various forms of student misconduct. The student survey and teacher surveys also asked about the availability at school of various controlled drugs. The student survey elicited information about the student's fear of crime in the school and on the way to and from school, avoidance behaviors, and possession of weapons for protection. Data were also obtained from the principals on each school's suspension/expulsion rate, the number and type of security guards and/or devices used within the school, and other school safety measures. In addition to the surveys, census data were acquired for a one-quarter-mile radius around each participating school's campus, providing population demographics, educational attainment, employment status, marital status, income levels, and area housing information. Also, arrest statistics for six separate crimes (personal crime, property crime, simple assault, disorderly conduct, drug/alcohol offenses, and weapons offenses) for the reporting district in which each school was located were obtained from local police departments. Finally, the quality of the immediate neighborhood was assessed by means of a "windshield" survey in which the researchers conducted a visual inventory of various neighborhood characteristics: type and quality of housing in the area, types of businesses, presence of graffiti and gang graffiti, number of abandoned cars, and the number and perceived age of pedestrians and people loitering in the area. These contextual data are also contained in Part 3.

Access Notes

  • These data are freely available.

Dataset(s)

DS0:  Study-Level Files
Documentation:
DS1:  Student Survey Data - Download All Files (20.7 MB)
DS2:  Teacher Survey Data - Download All Files (3.9 MB)
DS3:  Principal Survey Data and Neighborhood Data - Download All Files (2.4 MB)

Study Description

Citation

Lab, Steven P., and Richard D. Clark. Controlling Victimization in Schools: Effective Discipline and Control Strategies in a County in Ohio, 1994. ICPSR02587-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1998. http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR02587.v1

Persistent URL:

Export Citation:

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Funding

This study was funded by:

  • United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice (93-IJ-CX-0034)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:   control, crime in schools, drug use, fear of crime, gangs, high schools, neighborhood characteristics, personal security, principals, school security, student misconduct, students, teachers, victimization, weapons

Geographic Coverage:   Ohio, United States

Time Period:  

  • 1994

Date of Collection:  

  • 1994

Unit of Observation:   Parts 1-2: Individuals, Part 3: Institutions

Universe:   All public and private schools in a county in Ohio.

Data Types:   survey data

Methodology

Study Purpose:   Evidence continues to mount that crime in schools is a critical concern in contemporary America, despite cautions from historians that similar problems have existed for centuries. While no consensus exists on the size of the problem, the results of every investigation have revealed that a large number of students are victimized at school. Coupled with the fact that students are required to attend school, these results make the issue of in-school victimization a priority concern for students, parents, educators, and the criminal justice system. This concern has led to calls for greater discipline and control through diverse mechanisms such as using armed security guards and metal detectors and establishing profit-making schools. However, discipline and control may also be achieved through a variety of more humanistic, normative methods rather than the imposition of coercive measures -- for example, student participation in policy-making, particularly in relation to school rules, regulations, and sanctions. While concern over safety in schools has grown dramatically, no consensus exists on the impact of various forms of discipline and control to eliminate or curtail in-school victimization. This study gathered evidence on the relationship between discipline and the control of victimization in schools and investigated the effectiveness of humanistic versus coercive disciplinary measures. The study focused on four hypotheses: (1) School discipline and control measures are negatively related to levels of in-school victimization. This hypothesis assumes that changes in discipline and control precede changes in victimization based on the common assumption that victimization levels respond to discipline and control efforts (or the lack thereof) rather than the reverse. (2) More humanistic/consensual discipline/control measures have a greater negative impact on in-school victimization than do coercive/custodial measures. (3) The community environment has a strong impact on the level of in-school victimization. (4) The presence of gangs in the school is positively related to the level of in-school victimization.

Study Design:   Survey data were obtained from students, teachers, and principals in each of the 44 junior and senior high schools in a county in Ohio that agreed to participate in the study. Questionnaires were designed to gather respondent demographics, perceptions about school discipline and control, and perceptions about school crime, including personal victimization and responses to victimization. Respondents were asked to answer all questions in relation to "since the start of the school year." Based on the dates of survey administration, the data represent roughly a six-month time frame. Students in grades 7 through 12 were anonymously surveyed in February 1994. The Student Survey (Part 1) was randomly distributed to approximately half of the students in all classrooms in each school. The other half of the students received a different survey that focused on drug use among students (not available with this collection). The teacher (Part 2) and principal (Part 3) surveys were completed at the same time as the student survey. The principal survey included both closed-ended and open-ended questions while all questions on the student and teacher surveys were closed-ended, with a finite set of answers from which to choose. In addition to the surveys, census data were acquired for a one-quarter-mile radius around each participating school's campus. Also, arrest statistics for the reporting district in which each school was located were obtained from local police departments. Finally, the quality of the immediate neighborhood was assessed by means of a "windshield" survey in which the researchers conducted a visual inventory of various neighborhood characteristics. These contextual data are also contained in Part 3.

Sample:   Data were obtained from 44 junior and senior high schools.

Data Source:

(1) self-enumerated forms, (2) data from the Bureau of the Census, (3) statistics from local police departments, and (4) a "windshield survey"

Description of Variables:   The student questionnaire contained items on school discipline and control procedures, victimization at school, fear of crime in school and on the bus to and from school, avoidance behaviors, gang activity, possession of weapons for protection, availability of various controlled drugs, and respondent demographics. The teacher survey included questions on teacher perceptions of discipline, control, and school safety, victimization problems at school, availability of various controlled drugs, and respondent demographics. The principal survey obtained information on school demographics, victimization and gang problems at school, discipline and control measures used by the school, and principal demographics. Data were also obtained from the principals on each school's suspension/expulsion rate, the number and type of security guards and/or devices used within the school, and other school safety measures. All three surveys asked whether the school had a student court and if so, what sanctions could be imposed by the student court for various forms of student misconduct. Part 3 also includes: (1) census data providing population demographics, educational attainment, employment status, marital status, income levels, and area housing information, (2) arrest rates for six separate crimes: personal crime, property crime, simple assault, disorderly conduct, drug/alcohol offenses, and weapons offenses, and (3) items from a "windshield survey" assessing the type and quality of housing in the area, types of businesses, the presence of graffiti and gang graffiti, the number of abandoned cars, and the number and perceived age of pedestrians and people loitering in the area.

Response Rates:   In the public school systems, data were obtained from 88 percent of the public junior high schools (15 of 17) and senior high schools (16 of 18) in the county. In the Catholic school system, data were obtained from 67 percent of the high schools (4 of 6) and 24 percent of the schools containing grades 7 and 8 (8 of 33). The 44th school was a large private, nondenominational school. The initial count of 11,085 usable student questionnaires represented approximately 35 percent of the students in the participating schools. The initial count of 1,045 usable teacher surveys resulted in approximately a 40-percent response rate. Principal questionnaires were returned from 43 of the 44 participating schools, giving a response rate of 98 percent. One principal did not respond, so data were located from district files for that school. At the time the data files were constructed, some cases were eliminated from the student and teacher data due to uncertainty as to which schools the surveys referred to.

Presence of Common Scales:   Several Likert-type scales were used.

Extent of Processing:  ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.

Version(s)

Original ICPSR Release:  

Version History:

  • 2006-03-30 File CB2587.ALL.PDF was removed from any previous datasets and flagged as a study-level file, so that it will accompany all downloads.
  • 2005-11-04 On 2005-03-14 new files were added to one or more datasets. These files included additional setup files as well as one or more of the following: SAS program, SAS transport, SPSS portable, and Stata system files. The metadata record was revised 2005-11-04 to reflect these additions.

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