CitationZimmerman, Gregory M. & Rees, Carter (2014). Do school disciplinary policies have positive social impacts? Examining the attenuating effects of school policies on the relationship between personal and peer delinquency. Journal of Criminal Justice. vol. 42 (1) pp. 54-65
AbstractPurpose Empirical research has yet to demonstrate that strict school disciplinary policies deter student misconduct. However, underlying the null and negative effects observed in prior research may be competing social impacts. What is missing from prior research is an acknowledgement that the deviance amplification effects of criminogenic risk factors may be partially offset by the general deterrence effects of strict school sanctions.
Methods Using data from the school administrator questionnaire, the in-school interview, and the in-home interview from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, this study employs logistic hierarchical models to investigate whether strict school sanctions condition the relationship between personal and peer smoking, drinking, and fighting.
Results Results indicate that the effects of peer smoking, drinking, and fighting on corresponding respondent delinquency are attenuated in schools with strict sanction policies for these behaviors.
Conclusions Results suggest that school policies can aid in preventing crime in unanticipated ways, for example, by reducing the crime-inducing effects of having delinquent peers. Prior research may therefore be unintentionally discounting the general deterrence effects of school disciplinary policies by neglecting the moderating mechanisms through which these policies operate.
Reference TypeJournal Article
Journal TitleJournal of Criminal Justice
Author(s)Zimmerman, Gregory M.