ERIC Number: ED445809
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
Initiation Rites in American High Schools: A National Survey. Final Report.
Hoover, Nadine C.; Pollard, Norman J.
Noting that high school students are just learning to distinguish between appropriate and inappropriate behavior and that without healthy adult supervision, initiation rites may become hazing incidents, this study surveyed students' experiences with hazing and initiation activities. Participating in the survey were 1,541 students from a random national sample of 20,000 high school students, stratified by juniors and seniors. Ninety percent of the students attended public schools, with 5 percent attending church schools, 5 percent attending other private schools, and 1 percent being home schooled. Eighty-four percent reported average grades of A or B. The survey responses indicated that 91 percent of students belonged to at least one group. Nearly all had experienced positive activities as part of joining these groups. Forty-eight percent of students belonging to groups reported subjection to hazing, with 30 percent performing potentially illegal acts. Both males and females reported high levels of hazing. The lower the student's grade point average, the greater his or her risk of being hazed. Almost every type of high school group, even church groups, had significantly high levels of hazing. Seventy-one percent of hazed students reported negative consequences. Twenty-five percent of hazed students were first hazed before the age of 13. Dangerous hazing activities were as prevalent among high school students as among college athletes. Students did not distinguish "fun" and hazing. Based on findings, it was recommended that students be sent a clear anti-hazing message; that the culture be changed to invest in community, equality, and civility; and that adults learn to pay attention to teens who are excluded. (KB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Alfred Univ., NY.