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ERIC Number: ED521849
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 176
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1241-7402-0
The Influence of School Climate on Students' Experiences of Peer Sexual Harassment in High Schools
Tully, Carol A.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Columbia University
Early studies on the prevalence of peer sexual harassment in schools have left little doubt that it is a serious problem, often with negative consequences. Research indicates that sexual harassment is a subjective and gendered phenomenon, and peer sexual harassment is further complicated by the developmental changes associated with adolescence. Researchers have found that sexual harassment in high schools is similar to sexual harassment in the workplace in terms of definitions and perceptions, and there has been a recent movement toward adapting measures of organizational climate for use in schools. However, to date, the only dimension of school climate that has been studied with respect to peer sexual harassment is perceived tolerance for harassment, which does not appear to be a sufficient representation of the construct. In this study, school climate is composed of both perceived tolerance for sexual harassment and organizational practices that a school could use to prevent or address peer sexual harassment. It was hypothesized that, together, these dimensions of school climate would influence students' experiences of peer sexual harassment in schools, which result in certain negative educational outcomes. As predicted, students reported less potential sexual harassment (PSH) at schools that were perceived as having a more positive climate. In addition, PSH was inversely associated with organizational practices (methods of addressing sexual harassment). However, only Provision of Resources significantly predicted PSH scores, indicating that students reported less PSH at schools that provided more resources. As expected, higher PSH scores predicted significantly more negative educational outcomes. Contrary to expectations, school climate did not significantly moderate the effect of PSH scores on negative outcomes. However, there was a significant interaction of PSH and school size, such that students in smaller schools reported significantly more negative educational outcomes than students in larger schools. Limitations, implications for schools, and directions for future research are presented. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A