ERIC Number: ED396886
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996-Apr
The Rural School Environment and Its Effect on Adolescent Alienation.
Shoho, Alan R.; Petrisky, Irene T.
A number of studies have suggested that school environment and organizational structure contribute to adolescent alienation, but few have analyzed alienation in a specific geographic context. This paper examines adolescent alienation in a rural school context. Dean (1961) defined alienation as an affective construct consisting of isolation (loneliness), normlessness (value system inconsistent with school norms), and powerlessness to influence one's choices. The Dean Alienation Scale was administered to 361 sixth- and eighth-graders in 3 rural elementary and middle schools in south central Texas. There were no significant differences in alienation between sixth- and eighth-graders. However, middle adolescents (students aged 15 and over) felt significantly more normless and powerless than early adolescents. Students who participated in extracurricular activities were less normless than nonparticipants; among participants, athletes felt more normless than students in academic or performing arts activities. Males felt more normless and powerless than females. Hispanics felt less isolated than Caucasians, but Caucasians felt less normless than African Americans and Hispanics. Results are discussed with regard to adolescent identity development and recommended school strategies to increase student participation and feelings of belonging. (SV)
Descriptors: Adolescent Development, Adolescents, Blacks, Educational Environment, Elementary School Students, Hispanic Americans, Intermediate Grades, Junior High School Students, Junior High Schools, Middle School Students, Middle Schools, Rural Schools, Student Alienation, Student Participation, Whites
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New York, NY, April 8-12, 1996).