Since previous research has suggested that school climate is an important predictor of school safety and disorder, the current study built on this line of research by examining racial and ethnic differences in the relationship between school climate and disorder in a sample of high school students.
Study data came from a larger longitudinal study of school climate and safety in one county in a southeastern state. The current study focused on 885 students in grades 9 through 12 who self-identified as either White, African American, or Hispanic. Two objectives guided the current study: (a) to identify whether there are racial/ethnic differences in perceptions of school climate and disorder and (b) to examine the relationship between school climate and disorder across race and ethnicity. Results indicate that the impact of school climate on school disorder varied, depending on the dimensions of school climate and, in some instances, across racial and ethnic characteristics. Findings and policy implications are discussed. (publisher abstract modified)