School Alienation: Gender, Socio-Economic Status and Anger in High School Adolescents

Article excerpt

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to investigate school alienation in relation to state-trait anger and socio-demographic variables (e.g., gender and socio-economic status). In this research, survey method has been used. The sample consisted of 300 female and 298 male high school students who came from different socio-economic levels. The participants' mean age is 17.6 years. To collect data a "Personal Information Form", "the State-Trait Anger Scale" and "the Student Alienation Scale" were used. Multivariate analysis of variance was used to determine gender, socio-economic level and state-trait anger differences on the students' alienation used as dependent variables. When there were significant multivariate effects (Wilks' Lambda criterion) separate analysis of variance (ANOVA) were conducted on each dependent variable to determine the source of the effect. The level of significance was set at p < .01. The results indicate that there is a significant difference between students' school alienation and state-trait anger.

Keywords

School Alienation, Powerlessness, Meaninglessness, Normlessness, Social Estrangement, Anger, Socio-Demographic Variables.

According to Seeman (1959), alienation consists of five dimensions: self-estrangement, powerlessness, social isolation, meaninglessness and normlessness. Later, he added as the sixth component to the theoretical frame as cultural estrangement (Seeman,1972). From Seeman's perspective, alienation appears through these different dimensions. Seeman's (1959) five dimensions were somewhat modified by Mackey (1977) and Mau (1992). They applied the Seeman's model to adolescent populations in school contexts. The dimensions of alienation can be explained as follows. Self-estrangement has its roots in classical philosophy and taps humanistic ideas mostly related to a discrepancy between the actual and idealized self. This dimension manifests itself in adolescents who suffer from lower self-esteem and feel bored with life in which they perceive no purpose. Powerlessness reflects fatalism, pessimism, and a perception of losing control over one's own life. This dimension is similar to the psychological notion of external locus of control. Social isolation is salient to youths who perceive a lack of intimate relationships such as with friends, thus leading to a feeling of loneliness. Normlessness can be defined as a belief that socially disapproved behaviors may be used to achieve culturally defined goals (LaCourse, Villeneuve, Claes, 2003).

The purpose of this study is to investigate school alienation in relation to state-trait anger and socio-demographic variables (gender, socio-economic status). This study conducted on Seeman's alienation framework which slightly differentiated from Mau's (1992). On the other hand, Mau's four dimensions of the alienation (self-estrangement, powerlessness, normlessness, social isolation) are used as dependent variables.

Method

Sample

In this study, survey method was used. The sample consisted of 300 female and 298 male high school students who came from different socio-economic levels. The participants' ages ranged from 17 to 19 (Mean = 17.6).

Measurement

To collect data a "Personal Information Form", "the State-Trait Anger Scale" and "the Student Alienation Scale" were used. All of the scales were administered by the researcher during a one-hour course. Students were given information about the purpose of the study and style of the response on the answer sheet. The scales' psychometric characteristics can be summarized as follows:

Personal Information Form: Age, sex, income and class level were asked. The State-Trait Anger Scale: The Trait Anger scale assesses an individual's disposition to experience anger in different situations. The Trait Anger scale has alpha reliability coefficients ranging between .82 and .89. The Anger Expression scale has demonstrated high internal consistency, with alpha coefficients between . …