241978 School disconnection and youth violence exposure

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 12:30 PM

Paul DuongTran, PhD , Social Work, Dominican College, New York, NY
Edgar Tyson, PhD , Graduate School of Social Service, Fordham University, New York, NY
Arlene Bolanos, BA , Graduate School of Social Service, Fordham University, New York, NY
Past studies have shown that attachment to school, which includes attitudes towards academics, connection to teachers, or bonding to classmates, predicts school adjustment and achievement (Osterman, 2000) and positive psycho-social functioning (Dornbusch et al., 2001). The data were derived from the 2005 NYC Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS), sponsored by Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The questionnaire is part of the Youth Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS) and administered to public high schools in all five New York boroughs. The responders were youth from ninth to twelve grades, predominantly Hispanic, African-American, Caucasian, and Asian ethnic backgrounds; and were chosen from the three high risk neighborhoods of the South Bronx, North and Central Brooklyn, and East and Central Harlem. The research variables included ‘connection to school', carrying weapons to school, getting into physical fights, feeling unsafe at school, physical and sexual assaulting in romantic dating. We will illustrate the relationships between school disconnection and violence exposure or violent behaviors using descriptive charts, tests of dependence, and odds-ratio computations. For example, students who were connected to school were less likely to carry a weapon (50.5 < 62.9), and those students who engaged in fights scored slightly higher (19.7 > 16.2) in disconnection to school.

Learning Areas:
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Diversity and culture
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
Learning Objective 1: The learner will be able to identify the association between violence exposure or behaviors among high-school students who felt a disconnection to their schools. Learning Objective 2:The learner will be able to explain the critical need for connection or bonding to schools as prevention or promotion of prosocial behaviors.

Keywords: Adolescents, Violence

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am an university-based researcher who conducts research on adolescent and adult health.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.