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Factors in School Vandalism

NCJ Number
Journal of Research and Development in Education Volume: 11 Issue: 2 Dated: (Winter 1978) Pages: 53-63
J L Howard
Date Published
11 pages
Three general types of factors which influence the incidence of school vandalism are identified and specific characteristics of school vandals are considered.
Vandals differ from other delinquent youth in several important individual characteristics. Vandalism is almost exclusively a male activity. Middle school or junior high school students are most likely to commit vandalism. Vandals are significantly more likely to be Caucasian than members of minority group races. Relationships between socioeconomic status and vandalism are unclear. Academic achievement represents a second vandalism factor. School vandals, like other children prone to delinquency, tend to do poorly in school. The school itself represents the third factor in the vandalism incidence rate. Research in this area has indicated that vandals or their parents lack identification with school, that the disciplinary strength and positive attitudes of school administrators are related to vandalism rates, and that more vandalism occurs in schools where teachers are apathetic. Research also indicates that actions and perceptions of school custodial workers may affect the vandalism incidence, that community school programs may act to reduce vandalism rate. Forty-one references are included.