The Effects of School Bonds, Discipline Techniques in School and Victimization on Delinquency of High School Students

Article excerpt

Abstract

Delinquency has become an import social problem in Turkey, especially in schools. Along with this trend, empirical studies have started to pay attention to delinquent acts in schools. However, most of these studies have mainly focused on the nature and prevalence of the delinquent behaviors. There are limited numbers of studies that explore relationships between school related factors and delinquency among Turkish students. Thus, the main purpose of the present study is to examine how various delinquent behaviors (property delinquency , violent behavior, delinquency in in school and substance use) are related to some school related factors such as school bonds (attachment to teacher and commitment to school), discipline techniques used in schools (coercive and inductive discipline) and victimization in the school. For this, a total of 3742 students from 11 high schools in Izmir were chosen through stratified cluster sampling techniques. The mean age of the sample was 16.8 and percentage of male students was 52. Self-report instruments used in previous studies were mainly adapted to measure school-related variables and various delinquent involvements. Due to the censored nature of dependent variables (delinquent involvements), Tobit regression techniques were used in analysis. The analysis revealed that commitment to school had an effect in the reduction of all kinds of delinquent acts that are assessed in this study. Results also indicated that coercive discipline techniques and victimization in schools were positively related to delinquent involvements regardless of the nature of delinquency. Overall, findings have confirmed that schools should be considered as an important social context along with family, communities or neighborhood that also affect various processes related to delinquency.

Key Words

Delinquency, School Commitment, Coercive Discipline, Victimization in School, Tobit Model.

Violent and non violent delinquency in schools has been considered as a serious problem in most of the developed countries for a long time. Responses to this problem, numerous theoretical discussions or empirical studies that mainly took place in Western contexts have focused on delinquent involvements of students which have helped some way to improve the social and educational policies that aimed to reduce the delinquency in schools (Cernkovich & Giordano, 1992; Payne, 2004; Welsh, Greene, & Jenkins, 1999). Delinquency, especially in schools, has also become an important social problem in developing countries. Due to the rapid changes in the economic and social structure and increase in the enrolment rates, delinquency among students has become a serious problem in Turkey. Studies conducted recently have shown that various delinquent behaviors such as violence, bullying, substance use are frequently observed among students regardless of their levels of study (Alikasifoglu et al., 2004; Bas & Kabasakal, 2010; Bilgiç & Yurtal, 2009; Çalik, Özbay, Erkan, Kurt, & Kandemir, 2009; Demir, Baran & Ulusoy, 2005; Demirtas & Ersözlu, 2007; Durmus & Gürgan, 2005; Erdogmus, 1993; Kepenekçi & Çinkir, 2006; Ögel, Taner, & Eke, 2006; Özbay, 2003; Özönder, Saglam, Aksoy, Uluocak, & Köktürk, 2005; Ulusoy, 2006; Ulusoy, Demir & Baran, 2005). Also, the Turkish government has started to take this problem seriously. For example, a nationwide Symposium on Violence in School and a panel research for schools delinquency under the supervision of the parliament was organized. Therefore, there is a need to study school contexts to understand delinquent involvements more thoroughly in Turkish context. In this context, the present study was designed to examine how various delinquent behaviors (property, violence, delinquency in school and substance use) are related to some school related factors such as school bonds, discipline techniques used in school and victimization in schools. …