Volume 28, Issue 3 (1999)
Learning in Urban Blight: School Climate and its Effect on the School Performance of Urban, Minority, Low-Income Children
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between school climate and children’s academic and social development in the early elementary school years, controlling for maternal education and family resources, and to determine whether factors underlying school climate influence those outcomes. Data were gathered longitudinally from the kindergarten through second-grade years. Children and families participating in the study were low-income, minority, and living in chronically poor urban neighborhoods. Both parent and teacher perspectives of children’s school functioning were used with parents reporting on school adjustment and teachers reporting on academic competence, social skills, and problem behaviors in the classroom. Achievement in reading and mathematics were measured with standardized tests. Results indicate that overall school climate and the teacher-student relationship significantly predict school adjustment. Underlying school climate factors also significantly predict social skills in fast and second grades and mathematics and reading achievement scores in first grade.
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