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ERIC Number: EJ826474
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Feb
Pages: 21
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0195-6744
An Application of "Broken-Windows" and Related Theories to the Study of Disorder, Fear, and Collective Efficacy in Schools
Plank, Stephen B.; Bradshaw, Catherine P.; Young, Hollie
American Journal of Education, v115 n2 p227-247 Feb 2009
This article considers school climate and perceptions of social disorder. When a school is characterized by disorder or physical risk, basic educational goals and processes are jeopardized. We use survey data from 33 public schools serving grades 6-8 in a large mid-Atlantic city to examine relationships among physical disorder (e.g., broken windows and poor building conditions), fear, collective efficacy, and social disorder. Path analyses reveal a direct association between physical disorder and social disorder even when prior levels of collective efficacy are controlled--a finding consistent with traditional broken-windows theories. Further, there is evidence that the effects of physical disorder may be operating through increased fear and decreased collective efficacy to affect perceptions of threatening or violent interactions among people. (Contains 2 tables, 7 figures and 6 notes.)
University of Chicago Press. Journals Division, P.O. Box 37005, Chicago, IL 60637. Tel: 877-705-1878; Tel: 773-753-3347; Fax: 877-705-1879; Fax: 773-753-0811; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 6; Grade 7; Grade 8; Junior High Schools; Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
IES Cited: ED546900