The construct of school climate has received attention as a way to enhance student achievement and reduce problem behaviors. The purpose of this article is to evaluate the existing literature on school climate and to bring to light the strengths, weakness, and gaps in the ways researchers have approached the construct. The central information in this article is organized into five sections. In the first, we describe the theoretical frameworks to support the multidimensionality of school climate and how school climate impacts student outcomes. In the second, we provide a breakdown of the four domains that make up school climate, including academic, community, safety, and institutional environment. In the third, we examine research on the outcomes of school climate. In the fourth, we outline the measurement and analytic methods of the construct of school climate. Finally, we summarize the strengths and limitations of the current work on school climate and make suggestions for future research directions.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Agnew, R. (1993). Why do they do it? An examination of the intervening mechanisms between “social control” variables and delinquency. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, 30, 245–266.
Aikens, N. L., & Barbarin, O. (2008). Socioeconomic differences in reading trajectories: the contribution of family, neighborhood, and school contexts. Journal of Educational Psychology, 100, 235–251.
Ainsworth, M. S. (1989). Attachments beyond infancy. American Psychologist, 44, 709–716.
Ainsworth, J. W. (2002). Why does it take a village? The mediation of neighborhood effects on educational achievement. Social Forces, 81, 117–152.
Archibald, S. (2006). Narrowing in on educational resources that do affect student achievement. Peabody Journal of Education, 81, 23–42.
Archibald, S., Coggshall, J. G., Croft, A., & Goe, L. (2011). High-quality professional development for all teachers: effectively allocating resources. Research & Policy Brief. National Comprehensive Center for Teacher Quality.
Atteberry, A., & Bryk, A. S. (2010). Centrality, connection, and commitment: the role of social networks in school-based literacy. In A. J. Daly (Ed.), Social network theory and educational change (pp. 51–76). Cambridge: Harvard Education Press.
Baker, J. A., Derrer, R. D., Davis, S. M., Dinklage-Travis, H. E., Linder, D. S., & Nicholson, M. D. (2001). The flip side of the coin: understanding the school’s contribution to dropout and completion. School Psychology Quarterly, 16, 406–426.
Bandura, A. (1986). Social foundations of thought and action: a social cognitive theory. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, Inc.
Bandura, A. (1997). Self-efficacy: the exercise of control. New York: W. H. Freeman and Co.
Bandyopadhyay, S., Cornell, D. G., & Konold, T. R. (2009). Validity of three school climate scales to assess bullying, aggressive attitudes, and help seeking. School Psychology Review, 38, 338–355.
Barth, R. S. (2006). Improving relationships within the schoolhouse. Educational Leadership, 63, 8–13. Retrieved from http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership.aspx
Battistich, V., Solomon, D., Kim, D. I., Watson, M., & Schaps, E. (1995). Schools as communities, poverty levels of student populations, and students’ attitudes, motives, and performance: a multilevel analysis. American Educational Research Journal, 32, 627–658.
Bear, G. G., Gaskins, C., Blank, J., & Chen, F. F. (2011). Delaware school climate survey-student: its factor structure, concurrent validity, and reliability. Journal of School Psychology, 49, 157–174.
Benner, A. D., Graham, S., & Mistry, R. S. (2008). Discerning direct and mediated effects of ecological structures and processes on adolescents’ educational outcomes. Developmental Psychology, 44, 840–854.
Bergman, L. R. (2001). A person approach in research on adolescence: Some methodological challenges. Journal of Adolescent Research, 16, 28–53.
Bergman, L. R., & Andersson, H. (2010). The person and the variable in developmental psychology. Journal of Psychology, 218, 155–165.
Berner, M. M. (1993). Building conditions, parental involvement, and student achievement in the District of Columbia public school system. Urban Education, 28, 6–29.
Betts, J. R., & Shkolnik, J. L. (2000). The effects of ability grouping on student achievement and resource allocation in secondary schools. Economics of Education Review, 19, 1–15.
Birch, S. H., & Ladd, G. W. (1997). The teacher-child relationship and children’s early school adjustment. Journal of school psychology, 35, 61–79.
Birkett, M., Espelage, D. L., & Koenig, B. (2009). LGB and questioning students in schools: the moderating effects of homophobic bullying and school climate on negative outcomes. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 38, 989–1000.
Bodovski, K., Nahum-Shani, I., & Walsh, R. (2013). School climate and students’ early mathematics learning: another search for contextual effects. American Journal of Education, 119, 209–234.
Booren, L. M., Handy, D. J., & Power, T. G. (2011). Examining perceptions of school safety strategies, school climate, and violence. Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice, 9, 171–187.
Borgatti, S. P., & Ofem, B. (2010). Overview: social network theory and analysis. In A. J. Daly (Ed.), The ties of change: social network theory and application in education (pp. 17–30). Cambridge: Harvard Press.
Borman, G. D., Hewes, G. M., Overman, L. T., & Brown, S. (2003). Comprehensive school reform and achievement: a meta-analysis. Review of Educational Research, 73, 125–230.
Boston, C. (2002). The concept of formative assessment. Practical Assessment, Research & Evaluation, 8.
Bowen, G. L., Bowen, N. K., & Richman, J. M. (2000). School size and middle school students’ perceptions of the school environment. Children & Schools, 22, 69–82.
Bowen, G. L., Rose, R. A., Powers, J. D., & Glennie, E. J. (2008). The joint effects of neighborhoods, schools, peers, and families on changes in the school success of middle school students. Family Relations, 57, 504–516.
Bowlby, J. (1969). Attachment and loss: volume 1: attachment. The International Psycho-Analytical Library, 79:1–401. London: The Hogarth Press and the Institute of Psycho-Analysis.
Bradshaw, C. P., Sawyer, A. L., & O’Brennan, L. M. (2009). A social disorganization perspective on bullying-related attitudes and behaviors: the influence of school context. American Journal of Community Psychology, 43, 204–220.
Brand, S., Felner, R., Shim, M., Seitsinger, A., & Dumas, T. (2003). Middle school improvement and reform: development and validation of a school-level assessment of climate, cultural pluralism, and school safety. Journal of Educational Psychology, 95, 570–588.
Brand, S., Felner, R. D., Seitsinger, A., Burns, A., & Bolton, N. (2005). A large scale study of the assessment of the social environment of middle and secondary schools: the validity and utility of teachers’ ratings of school climate, cultural pluralism, and safety problems for understanding school effects and school improvement. Journal of School Psychology, 46, 507–535.
Bronfenbrenner, U., & Bronfenbrenner, U. (1979). The ecology of human development: experiments by nature and design. Boston: Harvard University Press.
Brookmeyer, K. A., Fanti, K. A., & Henrich, C. C. (2006). Schools, parents, and youth violence: a multilevel, ecological analysis. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 35, 504–514.
Brookover, W. B., Schweitzer, J. H., Schneider, J. M., Beady, C. H., Flood, P. K., & Wisenbaker, J. M. (1978). Elementary school social climate and school achievement. American Educational Research Journal, 15, 301–318.
Brooks, J. E. (2006). Strengthening resilience in children and youths: maximizing opportunities through the schools. Children & Schools, 28, 69–76.
Brophy, J., & Good, T. (1986). Teacher behavior and student achievement. In M. Wittrock (Ed.), Third handbook of research on teaching (pp. 328–375). New York: Macmillan.
Bruns, E. J., Walrath, C., Glass-Siegel, M., & Weist, M. D. (2004). School-based mental health services in Baltimore: association with school climate and special education referrals. Behavior Modification, 28, 491–512.
Bryant, V. C., Shdaimah, C., Sander, R. L., & Cornelius, L. J. (2013). School as haven: transforming school environments into welcoming learning communities. Children and Youth Services Review, 35, 848–855.
Bryk, A., & Raudenbush, S. W. (1992). Hierarchical linear models for social and behavioral research: applications and data analysis methods. Newbury Park: Sage.
Buckley, J., Schneider, M., & Shang, Y. (2004). The effects of school facility quality on teacher retention in urban school districts. Washington, DC: National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities, 24, 2005–2132.
Cantrell, S., & Kane, T. J. (2013). Ensuring fair and reliable measures of effective teaching: culminating findings from the MET project’s three-year study. Policy and Practice Brief.
Chang, J., & Le, T. N. (2010). Multiculturalism as a dimension of school climate: the impact on the academic achievement of Asian American and Hispanic youth. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 16, 485.
Chung, H., Elias, M., & Schneider, K. (1998). Patterns of individual adjustment changes during middle school transition. Journal of School Psychology, 36, 83–101.
Clifford, M., Menon, R., Gangi, T., Condon, C., & Hornung, K. (2012). Measuring school climate for gauging principal performance: a review of the validity and reliability of publicly accessible measures. Washington, DC: American Institutes for Research.
Coburn, C. E., Choi L., Mata W.S. (2010). “I Would Go to Her Because Her Mind Is Math: Network Formation in the Context of Mathematics Reform.”(pp. 33–50) in Social network theory and educational change, edited by Alan J. Daly. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Press.
Cohen, D. K., Raudenbush, S. W., & Ball, D. L. (2003). Resources, instruction, and research. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 25, 119–142.
Cohen, J., McCabe, L., Michelli, N. M., & Pickeral, T. (2009a). School climate: research, policy, practice, and teacher education. The Teachers College Record, 111, 180–213.
Cohen, J., Pickeral, T., & McCloskey, M. (2009b). Assessing school climate. Education Digest: Essential Readings Condensed for Quick Review, 74, 45–48.
Cook, T. D., Murphy, R. F., & Hunt, H. D. (2000). Comer’s school development program in Chicago: a theory-based evaluation. American Educational Research Journal, 37, 535–597.
Cooper, H. M., & Good, T. L. (1983). Teacher and student perceptions of interactions frequencies. In H. M. Cooper & T. L. Good (Eds.), Pygmalion grows up: Studies in the expectation communication process (pp. 47–55). New York, NY: Longman.
Cotton, K. (1996). Affective and social benefits of small-scale schooling. ERIC Digest ED401088. Charleston: ERIC Clearinghouse on Rural Education and Small Schools.
Crosnoe, R., Cavanagh, S., & Elder, G. H., Jr. (2003). Adolescent friendships as academic resources: the intersection of friendship, race, and school disadvantage. Sociological Perspectives, 46, 331–352.
Crosnoe, R., Johnson, M. K., & Elder, G. H., Jr. (2004). School size and the interpersonal side of education: an examination of race/ethnicity and organizational context. Social Science Quarterly, 85, 1259–1274.
Dawson, C., & Parker, J. R. (1998). A descriptive analysis of the perspective of Neville High School teachers regarding the school renovation. New Orleans: paper presented at the Mid-South Educational Research Association.
Deemer, S. (2004). Classroom goal orientation in high school classrooms: revealing links between teacher beliefs and classroom environments. Educational Research, 46, 73–90.
Devine, J. F., & Cohen, J. (2007). Making your school safe: strategies to protect children and promote learning. Columbia University, NY: Teachers College Press.
Durán-Narucki, V. (2008). School building condition, school attendance, and academic achievement in New York City public schools: a mediation model. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 28, 278–286.
Durlak, J. A., Weissberg, R. P., Dymnicki, A. B., Taylor, R. D., & Schellinger, K. B. (2011). The impact of enhancing students' social and emotional learning: A meta-analysis of school-based universal interventions. Child Development, 82, 405–432.
Earthman, G. I. (2002). School facility conditions and student academic achievement. U.C. Los Angeles: UCLA’s Institute for Democracy, Education, and Access.
Eccles, J. S., & Midgley, C. (1989). Stage/environment fit: developmentally appropriate classrooms for early adolescents, Ames, R., Ames, C. (Eds.), Research on motivation in education, Vol. 3 (pp. 139–181). New York: Academic Press.
Eccles, J. S., & Roeser, R. W. (2011). Schools as developmental contexts during adolescence. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 21, 225–241.
Eccles, J. S., Midgley, C., Wigfield, A., Buchanan, C. M., Reuman, D., Flanagan, C., & Mac Iver, D. (1993). Development during adolescence: the impact of stage environment fit on young adolescents’ experiences in schools and in families. American Psychologist, 48, 90–101.
Eccles, J. S., Lord, S. E., & Roeser, R. W. (1996). Round holes, square pegs, rocky roads, and sore feet: the impact of stage-environment fit on young adolescents’ experiences in schools. In D. Cicchetti & S. Toth (Eds.), Adolescence: opportunities and challenges (pp. 47–92). Rochester: University of Rochester Press.
Eliot, M., Cornell, D., Gregory, A., & Fan, X. (2010). Supportive school climate and student willingness to seek help for bullying and threats of violence. Journal of School Psychology, 48, 533–553.
Elsaesser, C., Gorman-Smith, D., & Henry, D. (2013). The role of the school environment in relational aggression and victimization. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 42, 235–249.
Emmons, Comer, & Haynes. (1996). Translating theory into practice: Comer’s theory of school reform. In J. P. Comer, N. M. Haynes, E. Joyner, & M. Ben-Avie (Eds.), Rallying the whole village (pp. 27–41). New York: Teachers College Press.
Epstein, J. L., Sanders, M. G., Sheldon, S., Simon, B. S., & Salinas, K. C. (1997). School, family, and community partnerships: your handbook for action. Thousand Oaks: Corwin Press.
Espelage, D. L., Aragon, S. R., & Birkett, M. (2008). Homophobic teasing, psychological outcomes, and sexual orientation among high school students: What influence do parents and schools have? School Psychology Review, 37, 202–216.
Esposito, C. (1999). Learning in urban blight: school climate and its effect on the school performance of urban, minority, low-income children. School Psychology Review, 28, 365–377.
Fantuzzo, J. W., LeBoeuf, W. A., & Rouse, H. L. (2014). An investigation of the relations between school concentrations of student risk factors and student educational well-being. Educational Researcher, 43, 25–36.
Fenning, P., & Rose, J. (2007). Overrepresentation of African American students in exclusionary discipline: the role of policy. Urban Education, 42, 536–559.
Figlio, D. N., & Page, M. E. (2002). School choice and the distributional effects of ability tracking: does separation increase inequality? Journal of Urban Economics, 51, 497–514.
Finn, J. D., & Voelkl, K. E. (1993). School characteristics related to student engagement. Journal of Negro Education, 62, 249–268.
Finn, J. D., Achilles, C. M., & Finn, J. D. (1999). Tennessee’s class size study: findings, implications, misconceptions. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 21, 97–109.
Fisk, W. J. (2000). Health and productivity gains from better indoor environments and their relationship with building energy efficiency. Annual Review of Energy and the Environment, 25, 537–566.
Flanagan, C. A., & Stout, M. (2010). Developmental patterns of social trust between early and late adolescence: Age and school climate effects. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 20, 748–773.
Fletcher, A., Bonell, C., & Hargreaves, J. (2008). School effects on young people’s drug use: a systematic review of intervention and observational studies. Journal of Adolescent Health, 42, 209–220.
Fraser, M. W., Galinsky, M. J., & Richman, J. M. (1999). Risk, protection, and resilience: toward a conceptual framework for social work practice. Social Work Research, 23, 131–143.
Freeman, J. G., Samdal, O., Klinger, D. A., Dur, W., Griebler, R., Currie, D., & Rasmussen, M. (2009). The relationship of schools to emotional health and bullying. International Journal of Public Health, 54, 251–259.
Freiberg, H. J. (1998). Measuring school climate: Let me count the ways. Educational Leadership, 56, 22–26.
Freiberg, H. J., & Stein, T. A. (1999). Measuring, improving and sustaining healthy learning environments. In H. J. Freiberg (Ed.), School climate: Measuring, improving and sustaining healthy learning environments (pp. 11–29). Philadelphia, PA: Falmer Press.
Frey, A., Ruchkin, V., Martin, A., & Schwab-Stone, M. (2009). Adolescents in transition: school and family characteristics in the development of violent behaviors entering high school. Child Psychiatry and Human Development, 40, 1–13.
Gest, S. D., & Rodkin, P. C. (2011). Teaching practices and elementary classroom peer ecologies. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 32, 288–296.
Gittelsohn, J., Merkle, S., Story, M., Stone, E. J., Steckler, A., Noel, J., & Ethelbah, B. (2003). School climate and implementation of the pathways study. Preventive Medicine, 37, S97–S106.
Goddard, R. D., Sweetland, S. R., & Hoy, W. K. (2000). Academic emphasis of urban elementary schools and student achievement in reading and mathematics: a multilevel analysis. Educational Administration Quarterly, 36, 683–702.
Goldkind, L., & Farmer, G. (2013). The enduring influence of school size and school climate on parents’ engagement in the school community. School Community Journal, 23, 223–244.
Goldstein, S. E., Young, A., & Boyd, C. (2008). Relational aggression at school: associations with school safety and social climate. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 37, 641–654.
Gottfredson, D. (2001). Delinquency and schools. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Gottfredson, D., & Gottfredson, G. (2002). Quality of school-based prevention programs: results from a national survey. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, 39, 3–35.
Gottfredson, G. D., Gottfredson, D. C., Payne, A. A., & Gottfredson, N. C. (2005). School climate predictors of school disorder: results from a national study of delinquency prevention in schools. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, 42, 412–444.
Graham, S., Bellmore, A. D., & Mize, J. (2006). Peer victimization, aggression, and their co-occurrence in middle school: pathways to adjustment problems. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 34, 349–364.
Grayson, J. L., & Alvarez, H. K. (2008). School climate factors relating to teacher burnout: a mediator model. Teaching and Teacher Education, 24, 1349–1363.
Greenwald, R., Hedges, L. V., & Laine, R. D. (1996). The effect of school resources on student achievement. Review of Educational Research, 66, 361–396.
Gregory, A., Cornell, D., Fan, X., Sheras, P., Shih, T. H., & Huang, F. (2010). Authoritative school discipline: high school practices associated with lower bullying and victimization. Journal of Educational Psychology, 102, 483–496.
Gregory, A., Cornell, D., & Fan, X. (2011). The relationship of school structure and support to suspension rates for Black and White high school students. American Educational Research Journal, 48, 904–934.
Gregory, A., Cornell, D., & Fan, X. (2012). Teacher safety and authoritative school climate in high schools. American Journal of Education, 118, 401–425.
Griffith, J. (1999). School climate as “social order” and “social action”: a multi-level analysis of public elementary school student perceptions. Social Psychology of Education, 2, 339–369.
Griffith, J. (2000). School climate as group evaluation and group consensus: student and parent perceptions of the elementary school environment. The Elementary School Journal, 101, 35–61.
Halpin, A. W., & Croft, D. B. (1963). The organizational climate of schools. University of Chicago: Midwest Administration Center.
Hamre, B. K., & Pianta, R. C. (2001). Early teacher–child relationships and the trajectory of children’s school outcomes through eighth grade. Child Development, 72, 625–638.
Hanushek, E. A. (1997). Assessing the effects of school resources on student performance: an update. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 19, 141–164.
Hanushek, E. A., & Wößmann, L. (2006). Does educational tracking affect performance and inequality? Differences‐in‐differences evidence across countries. The Economic Journal, 116, C63–C76.
Hawkins, J. D., & Catalano, R. F. (1990). Risk and protective factors for alcohol and other drug problems in adolescence and early adulthood: implications for substance abuse prevention. Unpublished manuscript, University of Washington, Social Development Research Group, Seattle.
Haynes, N. M., Emmons, C., & Ben-Avie, M. (1997). School climate as a factor in student adjustment and achievement. Journal of Educational and Psychological Consultation, 8, 321–329.
Hedges, L. V., Laine, R. D., & Greenwald, R. (1994). Does money matter? A meta-analysis of studies of the effects of differential school inputs on student outcomes. Educational Researcher, 23, 5–14.
Hill, N. E. (2009). Culturally-based worldviews, family processes, and family-school interaction. In S. Christenson & A. Reschly (Eds.), The handbook on school-family partnerships for promoting student competence (pp. 101–127). New York: Routledge/Taylor Francis.
Hill, N. E., & Taylor, L. C. (2004). Parental school involvement and children’s academic achievement: pragmatics and issues. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 13, 161–164.
Hirschi. (1969). Causes of delinquency. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Hopson, L. M., & Lee, E. (2011). Mitigating the effect of family poverty on academic and behavioral outcomes: the role of school climate in middle and high school. Children and Youth Services Review, 33, 2221–2229.
Hoy, W. K., & Hannum, J. W. (1997). Middle school climate: an empirical assessment of organizational health and student achievement. Educational Administration Quarterly, 33, 290–311.
Hoy, W. K., Tarter, C. J., & Hoy, A. W. (2006). Academic optimism of schools: a force for student achievement. American Educational Research Journal, 43, 425–446.
Hughes, T. L., & Akin-Little, A. (2007). Attachment theory: implications for practice in schools. Journal of Early Childhood and Infant Psychology, 3, 1–5.
Johnson, S. M. (1990). Teachers at work: achieving success in our schools. Scranton: Harper Collins Publishers.
Johnson, B., & Stevens, J. J. (2006). Student achievement and elementary teachers’ perceptions of school climate. Learning Environments Research, 9, 111–122.
Johnson, B., Stevens, J. J., & Zvoch, K. (2007). Teachers’ perceptions of school climate: a validity study of scores from the revised school level environment questionnaire. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 67, 833–844.
Juvonen, J., Nishina, A., & Graham, S. (2006). Ethnic diversity and perceptions of safety in urban middle schools. Psychological Science, 17, 393–400.
Kaplan, A., Gheen, M., & Midgley, C. (2002). Classroom goal structure and student disruptive behaviour. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 72, 191–211.
Kasen, S., Johnson, J., & Cohen, P. (1990). The impact of school emotional climate on student psychopathology. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 18, 165–177.
Kasen, S., Cohen, P., & Brook, J. S. (1998). Adolescent school experiences and dropout, adolescent pregnancy, and young adult deviant behavior. Journal of Adolescent Research, 13, 49–72.
Kasen, S., Cohen, P., Chen, H., Johnson, J. G., & Crawford, T. N. (2009). School climate and continuity of adolescent personality disorder symptoms. The Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 50, 1504–1512.
Kelley, R. C., Thornton, B., & Daugherty, R. (2005). Relationships between measures of leadership and school climate. Education, 126, 17–25.
Kieffer, M. J. (2012). Before and after third grade: longitudinal evidence for the shifting role of socioeconomic status in reading growth. Reading and Writing, 25, 1725–1746.
Koth, C. W., Bradshaw, C. P., & Leaf, P. J. (2008). A multilevel study of predictors of student perceptions of school climate: the effect of classroom-level factors. Journal of Educational Psychology, 100, 96–104.
Kuperminc, G. P., Leadbeater, B. J., Emmons, C., & Blatt, S. J. (1997). Perceived school climate and difficulties in the social adjustment of middle school students. Applied Developmental Science, 1, 76–88.
Kuperminc, G. P., Leadbeater, B. J., & Blatt, S. J. (2001). School social climate and individual differences in vulnerability to psychopathology among middle school students. Journal of School Psychology, 39, 141–159.
LaRusso, M., & Selman, R. (2011). Early adolescent health risk behaviors, conflict resolution strategies, and school climate. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 32, 354–362.
LaRusso, M. D., Romer, D., & Selman, R. L. (2008). Teachers as builders of respectful school climates: implications for adolescent drug use norms and depressive symptoms in high school. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 37, 386–398.
Lee, V. E., & Burkam, D. T. (2003). Dropping out of high school: the role of school organization and structure. American Educational Research Journal, 40, 353–393.
Lee, J., & Shute, V. J. (2010). Personal and social-contextual factors in K–12 academic performance: an integrative perspective on student learning. Educational Psychologist, 45, 185–202.
Lee, V. E., & Smith, J. B. (1997). High school size: which works best and for whom? Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 19, 205–227.
Lee, V. E., & Smith, J. B. (1999). Social support and achievement for young adolescents in Chicago: the role of school academic press. American Educational Research Journal, 36, 907–945.
Leithwood, K., & Jantzi, D. (1999). The relative effects of principal and teachers sources of leadership on student engagement with school. Educational Administration Quarterly, 35, 679–706.
Leithwood, K., & Jantzi, D. (2009). A review of empirical evidence about school size effects: a policy perspective. Review of Educational Research, 79, 464–490.
Leithwood, K. A., & Riehl, C. (2003). What we know about successful school leadership. Philadelphia: Laboratory for Student Success, Temple University.
Loukas, A., & Murphy, J. L. (2007). Middle school student perceptions of school climate: examining protective functions on subsequent adjustment problems. Journal of School Psychology, 45, 293–309.
Loukas, A., & Robinson, S. (2004). Examining the moderating role of perceived school climate in early adolescent adjustment. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 14, 209–233.
Loukas, A., Suzuki, R., & Horton, K. D. (2006). Examining school connectedness as a mediator of school climate effects. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 16, 491–502.
Lubienski, S. T., Lubienski, C., & Crane, C. C. (2008). Achievement differences and school type : the role of school climate, teacher certification, and instruction. American Journal of Education, 115, 97–138.
Ma, X., & Wilkins, J. L. (2002). The development of science achievement in middle and high school: individual differences and school effects. Evaluation Review, 26, 395–417.
MacNeil, A. J., Prater, D. L., & Busch, S. (2009). The effects of school culture and climate on student achievement. International Journal of Leadership in Education, 12, 73–84.
Marks, H. M. (2000). Student engagement in instructional activity: patterns in the elementary, middle, and high school years. American Educational Research Journal, 37, 153–184.
Marley, S. C., & Levin, J. R. (2011). When are prescriptive statements in educational research justified? Educational Psychology Review, 23, 197–206.
Marsh, H. W., Lüdtke, O., Robitzsch, A., Trautwein, U., Asparouhov, T., Muthén, B., & Nagengast, B. (2009). Doubly-latent models of school contextual effects: integrating multilevel and structural equation approaches to control measurement and sampling error. Multivariate Behavioral Research, 44, 764–802.
Marsh, H. W., Lüdtke, O., Nagengast, B., Trautwein, U., Morin, A. J., Abduljabbar, A. S., & Köller, O. (2012). Classroom climate and contextual effects: conceptual and methodological issues in the evaluation of group-level effects. Educational Psychologist, 47, 106–124.
Martin, A. J. (2011). Prescriptive statements and educational practice: what can structural equation modeling (SEM) offer? Educational Psychology Review, 23, 235–244.
Mattison, E., & Aber, M. S. (2007). Closing the achievement gap: the association of racial climate with achievement and behavioral outcomes. American Journal of Community Psychology, 40, 1–12.
Mayberry, M. L., Espelage, D. L., & Koenig, B. (2009). Multilevel modeling of direct effects and interactions of peers, parents, school, and community influences on adolescent substance use. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 38, 1038–1049.
McCoy, D. C., Roy, A. L., & Sirkman, G. M. (2013). Neighborhood crime and school climate as predictors of elementary school academic quality: a cross-lagged panel analysis. American Journal of Community Psychology, 52, 128–140.
McEvoy, A., & Welker, R. (2000). Antisocial behavior, academic failure, and school climate: a critical review. Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders, 8, 130–140.
McGuire, J. K., Anderson, C. R., Toomey, R. B., & Russell, S. T. (2010). School climate for transgender youth: a mixed method investigation of student experiences and school responses. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 39, 1175–1188.
McKenzie, J. F., Wood, M. L., Kotecki, J. E., Clark, J. K., & Brey, R. A. (1999). Establishing content validity: using qualitative and quantitative steps. American Journal of Health Behavior, 23, 311–318.
McNeely, C. A., Nonnemaker, J. M., & Blum, R. W. (2002). Promoting school connectedness: evidence from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. Journal of School Health, 72, 138–146.
Meece, J. L., Anderman, E. M., & Anderman, L. H. (2006). Classroom goal structure, student motivation, and academic achievement. Annual Review of Psychology, 57, 487–503.
Mehta, S. B., Cornell, D., Fan, X., & Gregory, A. (2013a). Bullying climate and school engagement in ninth-grade students. The Journal of School Health, 83, 45–52.
Mehta, T. G., Atkins, M. S., & Frazier, S. L. (2013b). The organizational health of urban elementary schools: school health and teacher functioning. School Mental Health, 5, 144–154.
Meyer-Adams, N., & Conner, B. T. (2008). School violence: bullying behaviors and the psychosocial school environment in middle schools. Children & Schools, 30, 211–221.
Miles, K. H., & Darling-Hammond, L. (1998). Rethinking the allocation of teaching resources: some lessons from high-performing schools. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 20, 9–29.
Morrison, G. M., Furlong, M. J., & Morrison, R. L. (1994). School violence to school safety: reframing the issue for school psychologists. School Psychology Review, 23, 236–256.
Mulkey, L. M., Catsambis, S., Steelman, L. C., & Crain, R. L. (2005). The long-term effects of ability grouping in mathematics: a national investigation. Social Psychology of Education, 8, 137–177.
Muthen, B. O. (1994). Multilevel covariance structure analysis. Sociological Methods and Research, 22, 376–398.
National School Climate Council (2007). The school climate challenge: narrowing the gap between school climate research and school climate policy, practice guidelines and teacher education policy. http://www.ecs.org/school-climate.
Newmann, F. M., & Wehlage, G. G. (1993). Five standards of authentic instruction. Educational Leadership, 50, 8–12.
Oakes, J. (2008). Keeping track: structuring equality and inequality in an era of accountability. The Teachers College Record, 110, 700–712.
Oakes, J., & Saunders, M. (2002). Access to textbooks, instructional materials, equipment, and technology: Inadequacy and inequality in California’s public schools. UC Los Angeles: UCLA’s Institute for Democracy, Education, and Access.
Osher, D., Bear, G. G., Sprague, J. R., & Doyle, W. (2010). How can we improve school discipline? Educational Researcher, 39, 48–58.
Osterman, K. F. (2000). Students’ need for belonging in the school community. Review of Educational Research, 70, 323–367.
Ozer, E. J., & Weinstein, R. S. (2004). Urban adolescents’ exposure to community violence: the role of support, school safety, and social constraints in a school-based sample of boys and girls. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 33, 463–476.
Patrick, H., Ryan, A. M., & Kaplan, A. (2007). Early adolescents’ perceptions of the classroom social environment, motivational beliefs, and engagement. Journal of Educational Psychology, 99, 83–98.
Pellerin, L. A. (2005). Student disengagement and the socialization styles of high schools. Social Forces, 84, 1161–1179.
Penuel, W. R., Frank, K. A., & Krause, A. (2006). The distribution of resources and expertise and the implementation of schoolwide reform initiatives. In S. A. Barab, K. E. Hay, & D. T. Hickey (Eds.), Proceedings of the 7th International Conference of the Learning Sciences (Vol. 1, pp. 522–528). Mahwah: Erlbaum.
Perry. (1908). The management of a city school. New York: The Macmillan Company.
Perry, L. B. (2012). Causes and effects of school socio-economic composition? A review of the literature. Education and Society, 30, 19–35.
Pianta, R. C. (1999). Enhancing relationships between children and teachers. Washington DC: American Psychological Association.
Pianta, R. C., & Hamre, B. K. (2009). Conceptualization, measurement, and improvement of classroom processes: standardized observation can leverage capacity. Educational Researcher, 38, 109–119.
Pintrich, P. R., & Schunk, D. H. (2002). Motivation in education: theory, research, and applications (2nd ed.). Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, Inc.
Rashid, M., & Zimring, C. (2008). A review of the empirical literature on the relationships between indoor environment and stress in health care and office settings: problems and prospects of sharing evidence. Environment and Behavior, 40, 151–190.
Raudenbush, S. W., Rowan, B., & Kang, S. J. (1991). A multilevel, multivariate model for studying school climate with estimation via the EM algorithm and application to U.S. high-school data. Journal of Educational Statistics, 16, 295–330.
Ravens-Sieberer, U., Freeman, J., Kokonyei, G., Thomas, C. A., & Erhart, M. (2009). School as a determinant for health outcomes—a structural equation model analysis. Health Education, 109, 342–356.
Reddy, R., Rhodes, J. E., & Mulhall, P. (2003). The influence of teacher support on student adjustment in the middle school years: a latent growth curve study. Development and Psychopathology, 15, 119–138.
Reinke, W. M., & Herman, K. C. (2002). Creating school environments that deter antisocial behaviors in youth. Psychology in the Schools, 39, 549–559.
Reis, J., Trockel, M., & Mulhall, P. (2007). Individual and school predictors of middle school aggression. Youth & Society, 38, 322–347.
Roeser, R. W., & Eccles, J. S. (1996). Adolescents’ perceptions of middle school: relation to longitudinal changes in academic and psychological adjustment. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 8, 123–158.
Roeser, R. W., Midgley, C., & Urdan, T. C. (1996). Perceptions of the school psychological environment and early adolescents’ psychological and behavioral functioning in school: the mediating role of goals and belonging. Journal of Educational Psychology, 88, 408–422.
Rones, M., & Hoagwood, K. (2000). School-based mental health services: a research review. Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review, 3, 223–241.
Rutter, M. (2006). Implications of resilience concepts for scientific understanding. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1094, 1–12.
Rutter, M., Dunn, J., Plomin, R., Simonoff, E., Pickles, A., Maughan, B., Ormel, J., & Meyer, J. (1997). Eaves integrating nature and nurture: implications of person-environment correlations and interactions for developmental psychopathology. Development and Psychopathology, 9, 335.
Ruus, V. R., Veisson, M., Leino, M., Ots, L., Pallas, L., Sarv, E. S., & Veisson, A. (2007). Students’ well-being, coping, academic success, and school climate. Social Behavior and Personality: An International Journal, 35, 919–936.
Ryan, A. M., & Patrick, H. (2001). The classroom social environment and changes in adolescents’ motivation and engagement during middle school. American Educational Research Journal, 38, 437–460.
Selig, J. P., Hoy, R., & Little, T. D. (2013). Temporal design in organizational research. In M. E. Hassett & E. Paavilainen-Mäntymäki (Eds.), Handbook of longitudinal research methods in organization and business studies (pp. 78–91). Northampton: Edward Elgar Publishing.
Sheldon, S. B. (2003). Linking school–family–community partnerships in urban elementary schools to student achievement on state tests. The Urban Review, 35, 149–165.
Sheldon, J. E., & Epstein, J. L. (2002a). Present and accounted for: improving student attendance through family and community involvement. The John Hopkins University, The Journal of Educational Research, 1, 308–318.
Sheldon, S. B., & Epstein, J. L. (2002b). Improving student behavior and school discipline with family and community involvement. Education and Urban Society, 35, 4–26.
Sheldon, S. B., & Epstein, J. L. (2005). Involvement counts: family and community partnerships and mathematics achievement. The Journal of Educational Research, 98, 196–207.
Shirley, E. L., & Cornell, D. G. (2012). The contribution of student perceptions of school climate to understanding the disproportionate punishment of African American students in a middle school. School Psychology International, 33, 115–134.
Simons, E., Hwang, S. A., Fitzgerald, E. F., Kielb, C., & Lin, S. (2010). The impact of school building conditions on student absenteeism in upstate New York. American Journal of Public Health, 100, 1679.
Skiba, R., Michael, S., Nardo, A., & Peterson, R. (2002). The color of discipline: sources of racial and gender disproportionality in school punishment. The Urban Review, 34, 317–342.
Snyder, F. J., Vuchinich, S., Acock, A., Washburn, I. J., & Flay, B. R. (2012). Improving elementary school quality through the use of a social-emotional and character development program: a matched-pair, cluster-randomized, controlled trial in Hawaii. Journal of School Health, 82, 11–20.
Solomon, D., Battistich, V., Watson, M., Schaps, E., & Lewis, C. (2000). A six-district study of educational change: direct and mediated effects of the child development project. Social Psychology of Education, 4, 3–51.
Stefanou, C. R., Perencevich, K. C., DiCintio, M., & Turner, J. C. (2004). Supporting autonomy in the classroom: ways teachers encourage student decision making and ownership. Educational Psychologist, 39, 97–110.
Stewart, E. A. (2003). School social bonds, school climate, and school misbehavior: a multilevel analysis. Justice Quarterly, 20, 575–604.
Stewart, E. B. (2007). School structural characteristics, student effort, peer associations, and parental involvement: the influence of school- and individual-level factors on academic achievement. Education and Urban Society, 40, 179–204.
Stewart, E. B. (2008). School structural characteristics, student effort, peer associations, and parental involvement the influence of school-and individual-level factors on academic achievement. Education and Urban Society, 40, 179–204.
Sugai, G., Lewis-Palmer, T., & Hagan, S. (1998). Using functional assessments to develop behavior support plans. Preventing School Failure, 43, 6–13.
Suldo, S. M., Thalji-Raitano, A., Hasemeyer, M., Gelley, C. D., & Hoy, B. (2013). Understanding middle school students’ life satisfaction: does school climate matter? Applied Research in Quality of Life, 8, 169–182.
Swearer, S. M., Espelage, D. L., Vaillancourt, T., & Hymel, S. (2010). What can be done about school bullying? Linking research to educational practice. Educational Researcher, 39, 38–47.
Syvertsen, A. K., Flanagan, C. A., & Stout, M. D. (2009). Code of silence: students’ perceptions of school climate and willingness to intervene in a peer’s dangerous plan. Journal of Educational Psychology, 101, 219–232.
Tanner, C. K. (2000). The influence of school architecture on academic achievement. Journal of Educational Administration, 38, 309–330.
Thapa, A., Cohen, J., Guffey, S., & Higgins-D’Alessandro, A. (2013). A review of school climate research. Review of Educational Research, 83, 357–385.
Uline, C., & Tschannen-Moran, M. (2008). The walls speak: the interplay of quality facilities, school climate, and student achievement. Journal of Educational Administration, 46, 55–73.
Urdan, T., & Schoenfelder, E. (2006). Classroom effects on student motivation: goal structures, social relationships, and competence beliefs. Journal of School Psychology, 44, 331–349.
Waasdorp, T. E., Pas, E. T., O’Brennan, L. M., & Bradshaw, C. P. (2011). A multilevel perspective on the climate of bullying: discrepancies among students, school staff, and parents. Journal of School Violence, 10, 115–132.
Waasdorp, T. E., Bradshaw, C. P., & Leaf, P. J. (2012). The impact of schoolwide positive behavioral interventions and supports on bullying and peer rejection: A randomized controlled effectiveness trial. Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, 166, 149–156.
Wang, M. T. (2009). School climate support for behavioral and psychological adjustment: testing the mediating effect of social competence. School Psychology Quarterly, 24, 240–251.
Wang, M. T., & Dishion, T. J. (2011). The trajectories of adolescents’ perceptions of school climate, deviant peer affiliation, and behavioral problems during the middle school years. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 22, 40–53.
Wang, M. T., & Dishion, T. J. (2012). The trajectories of adolescents’ perceptions of school climate, deviant peer affiliation, and behavioral problems during the middle school years. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 22, 40–53.
Wang, M. T., & Eccles, J. S. (2013). School context, achievement motivation, and academic engagement: a longitudinal study of school engagement using a multidimensional perspective. Learning and Instruction, 28, 12–23.
Wang, M. T., & Eccles, J. S. (2014). Multilevel predictors of math classroom climate: a comparison study of student and teacher perceptions. Journal of Research on Adolescence.
Wang, M. T., & Holcombe, R. (2010). Adolescents’ perceptions of school environment, engagement, and academic achievement in middle school. American Educational Research Journal, 47, 633–662.
Wang, M. T., & Huguley, J. P. (2012). Parental racial socialization as a moderator of the effects of racial discrimination on educational success among African American adolescents. Child Development, 83, 1716–1731.
Wang, M. T., Selman, R. L., Dishion, T. J., & Stormshak, E. A. (2010). A tobit regression analysis of the covariation between middle school students’ perceived school climate and behavioral problems. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 20, 274–286.
Wang, M. T., Brinkworth, M. E., & Eccles, J. S. (2012). The moderation effect of teacher–student relationship on the association between adolescents’ self–regulation ability, family conflict, and developmental problems. Developmental Psychology, 49, 690–705.
Waters, T., Marzano, R., & McNulty, B. (2004). Leadership that sparks learning. Educational Leadership, 61, 48–52.
Way, S. M. (2011). School discipline and disruptive classroom behavior: the moderating effects of student perceptions. The Sociological Quarterly, 52, 346–375.
Way, N., & Robinson, M. G. (2003). A longitudinal study of the effects of family, friends, and school experiences on the psychological adjustment of ethnic minority, low-SES adolescents. Journal of Adolescent Research, 18, 324–346.
Way, N., Reddy, R., & Rhodes, J. (2007). Students’ perceptions of school climate during the middle school years: associations with trajectories of psychological and behavioral adjustment. American Journal of Community Psychology, 40, 194–213.
Weinstein, C. S., Curran, M., & Tomlinson-Clarke, S. (2003). Culturally responsive classroom management: awareness into action. Theory Into Practice, 42, 269–276.
Weishew, N. L., & Peng, S. S. (1993). Variables predicting students’ problem behaviors. The Journal of Educational Research, 87, 5–17.
Weiss, C. C., Carolan, B. V., & Baker-Smith, E. C. (2010). Big school, small school: (re)testing assumptions about high school size, school engagement and mathematics achievement. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 39, 163–176.
Welsh, W. (2000). The effects of school climate on school disorder. Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 567, 88–107.
Whitlock, J. L. (2006). Youth perceptions of life at school: contextual correlates of school connectedness in adolescence. Applied Developmental Science, 10, 13–29.
Wilson, D. (2004). The interface of school climate and school connectedness and relationships with aggression and victimization. Journal of School Health, 74, 293–299.
Worrell, F. C., & Hale, R. L. (2001). The relationship of hope in the future and perceived school climate to school completion. School Psychology Quarterly, 16, 370–388.
Zaykowski, H., & Gunter, W. (2012). Youth victimization: school climate or deviant lifestyles? Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 27, 431–452.
Zimmerman, M. A., & Arunkumar, R. (1994). Resiliency research: implications for schools and policy. Social Policy Report, 8, 1–18.
Zullig, K. J., Koopman, T. M., Patton, J. M., & Ubbes, V. A. (2010). School climate: Historical review, instrument development, and school assessment. Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment, 28, 139–152.
Zullig, K. J., Huebner, E. S., & Patton, J. M. (2011). Relationships among school climate domains and school satisfaction. Psychology in the Schools, 48, 133–145.
About this article
Cite this article
Wang, MT., Degol, J. School Climate: a Review of the Construct, Measurement, and Impact on Student Outcomes. Educ Psychol Rev 28, 315–352 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10648-015-9319-1
- School climate
- School environment
- Behavioral development
- Socioemotional development
- Academic performance