Three Different Types of Elementary School Students' School Achievements, Perceived Social Support, School Attitudes and Behavior-Adjustment Problems*

Article excerpt

Abstract

The aim of this research was two fold. First is to compare three different types of primary schools (i.e., boarding primary, bussing primary, and regular) students' behavior-adjustment problems and second is to investigate the environmental and psychological predictors of these students' school success. The sample of the study consisted of 438 students of whom 203 were females (M^sub age^ = 11.24) and 235 were males (M^sub age^ = 11.46), recruited from the primary and secondary levels of eight years of compulsory education. Results showed that especially the primary level boarding school students` total adjustment scores were lower (S (2, 425) = 2.93, p < .05) and their problem behaviors (internalizing (S (2, 425) = 4.13, p < .05), externalizing (S (2, 425) = 4.03, p < .05) and total (S (2, 425) = 12.42, p < .05)) were higher than those of the secondary level boarding school students. However there were no significant differences among the levels in bussing school. Grade level (F (5, 242) = 4.61, p < .05), family structure (living together, separated, and divorced) (F (5, 242) = 4.61, p < .05), attitudes towards school (F (10, 242) = 4.64, p < .05), perceived family support (F (10, 242) = 4.64, p < .05), total adjustment (F (14, 242) = 13.55, p < .05), internalizing (F (14, 242) = 13.55, p < .05), externalizing (F (14, 242) = 13.55, p < .05) and total problem scores (F (14, 242) = 13.55, p < .05) significantly predicted the students' school achievements. The results indicated that boarding school students were the most disadvantageous group among the others in terms of behavior problems, social support, and school adjustment. However they seem to cope with these disadvantageous conditions and attain their counterparts' school success under supportive conditions.

Key Words

Elementary School, Boarding School, Bussing School, Behavior-Adjustment Problems, School Achievement.

With the implementation of eight years of compulsory education law, families from rural areas or families living in poverty started preferring boarding or bussing elementary schools for their children. These children who are living away from their families for education are protected by the state. There are 299 boarding schools with approximately 142.788 students and 6337 bussing schools with approximately 698.061 students (MillÎ Egitim Bakanligi, 2005). Even though these schools have a big share in the education system; unfortunately, there are only few studies that have been focusing in these schools or the students. In these rare studies, findings revealed that boarding (Ari, 2000; Güven, 1995) and bussing school (Altunsaray, 1996) students are not happy with the conditions of their schools. They think that physical resources of these schools are insufficient and they feel anxious about their future. The literature reveals that children separated from their families to get education have insufficient social support sources and negative attitudes towards schools. All of these negative factors have an impact on students' school achievements and adjustments (Kuperminc, Leadbeater, & Blatt, 2001; Levitt, Guacci-Franco & Levitt, 1994; Marchand, Poulson, & Rothlisberg, 2001; Wentzel, 1997).

One of the most important aims of these schools is to support the children coming from lower socio-economic levels and help them to get a qualified education. It has been found that children growing up in poverty have lower academic success (Dubow & Ippolita, 1994; Duncan, Brooks-Gunn, & Klebanov, 1994; Pungello, Kupersmidt, Burchinal, & Patterson, 1996).

In this research, elementary school students who attend at boarding, bussing, or regular schools were compared with regard to their total adjustments and behavior problems. Predictors of school success were also investigated. More specifically, the following questions were answered.

1. Is there any difference among these schools in terms of student behavior-adjustment problems? …