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Implementing School Based Youth Courts in a Rural Context The Impact on Students Perceptions of School Climate, Individual Functioning, and Interpersonal Relationships.

NCJ Number
Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal Volume: 35 Issue: 2 Dated: 2018 Pages: 127-138
Paul R. Smokowski; Caroline Evans; Heather Wing; Meredith Bower; Martica Bacallao; James Barbee
Date Published
12 pages

This article reports on an evaluation of the Youth Court in Schools Project's implementation in two low-income, violent, racially/ethnically diverse rural counties, examining whether the presence of Youth Court impacted students' perceptions of school danger, individual functioning, and interpersonal relationships.


Data were obtained from 3,454 youth; following multiple imputation, data were analyzed using paired samples t tests. Results indicated that perceptions of school danger increased significantly, and self-esteem decreased significantly in the control schools pretest to posttest. Violent behavior, anxiety, friend rejection, and bullying victimization decreased significantly in the Youth Court intervention schools pretest to posttest, but did not change significantly in the control schools. Findings provide preliminary evidence that Youth Court is an effective way of improving school climate, individual functioning, and interpersonal relationships. 45 references (publisher abstract modified)