Advertisement

Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 45, Issue 1, pp 195–210 | Cite as

Visible School Security Measures and Student Academic Performance, Attendance, and Postsecondary Aspirations

  • Emily E. Tanner-SmithEmail author
  • Benjamin W. Fisher
Empirical Research

Abstract

Many U.S. schools use visible security measures (security cameras, metal detectors, security personnel) in an effort to keep schools safe and promote adolescents’ academic success. This study examined how different patterns of visible security utilization were associated with U.S. middle and high school students’ academic performance, attendance, and postsecondary educational aspirations. The data for this study came from two large national surveys—the School Crime Supplement to the National Crime Victimization Survey (N = 38,707 students; 51 % male, 77 % White, MAge = 14.72) and the School Survey on Crime and Safety (N = 10,340 schools; average student composition of 50 % male, 57 % White). The results provided no evidence that visible security measures had consistent beneficial effects on adolescents’ academic outcomes; some security utilization patterns had modest detrimental effects on adolescents’ academic outcomes, particularly the heavy surveillance patterns observed in a small subset of high schools serving predominantly low socioeconomic students. The findings of this study provide no evidence that visible security measures have any sizeable effects on academic performance, attendance, or postsecondary aspirations among U.S. middle and high school students.

Keywords

Academic performance Educational aspirations Propensity scores School attendance School security School surveillance 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The research reported here was supported by the Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, through Grant R305A120181 to Vanderbilt University. The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not represent views of the Institute or the U.S. Department of Education. The authors would also like to thank Mark Lipsey and two peer reviewers for their comments on earlier drafts of the manuscript.

Author Contributions

ETS conceived of the study, participated in its design and coordination and drafted the manuscript; BWF participated in the analysis and interpretation of the data and helped to draft the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript. All authors declare no conflicts of interest.

References

  1. Addington, L. A. (2009). Cops and cameras: Public school security as a policy response to Columbine. American Behavioral Scientist, 52, 1426–1446. doi: 10.1177/0002764209332556.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Becker, G. S. (1968). Crime and punishment: An economic approach. The Journal of Political Economy, 76, 169–217. doi: 10.1086/259394.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Beger, R. R. (2003). The “worst of both worlds”: School security and the disappearing fourth amendment rights of students. Criminal Justice Review, 28, 336–354. doi: 10.1177/073401680302800208.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bosworth, K., Ford, L., & Hernandaz, D. (2011). School climate factors contributing to student and faculty perceptions of safety in select Arizona schools. Journal of School Health, 81, 194–201. doi: 10.1111/j.1746-1561.2010.00579.x.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bowen, N. K., & Bowen, G. L. (1999). Effects of crime and violence in neighborhoods and schools on the school behavior and performance of adolescents. Journal of Adolescent Research, 47, 319–342. doi: 10.1177/0743558499143003.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bracy, N. L. (2011). Student perceptions of high-security school environments. Youth & Society, 43, 365–395. doi: 10.1177/0044118X10365082.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 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. doi: 10.1007/s10464-009-9240-1.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Brady, K. P., Balmer, S., & Phenix, D. (2007). School-police partnership effectiveness in urban schools: An analysis of New York City’s impact schools initiative. Education and Urban Society, 39, 455–478. doi: 10.1177/0013124507302396.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bronfenbrenner, U. (1979). The ecology of human development: Experiments by nature and design. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  10. Brown, B. (2005). Controlling crime and delinquency in the schools: An exploratory study of student perceptions of school security measures. Journal of School Violence, 4, 105–125. doi: 10.1300/J202v04n04_07.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Burrow, J. D., & Apel, R. (2008). Youth behavior, school structure, and student risk of victimization. Justice Quarterly, 25, 349–380. doi: 10.1080/07418820802025181.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Card, N. A., & Hodges, E. V. E. (2008). Peer victimization among schoolchildren: Correlations, causes, consequences, and considerations in assessment and intervention. School Psychology Quarterly, 23, 451–461. doi: 10.1037/a0012769.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Cohen, L. E., & Felson, M. (1979). Social change and crime rate trends: A routine activity approach. American Sociological Review, 44, 588–608. doi: 10.2307/2094589.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Cook, P. J., Gottfredson, D.C., & Na, C. (2010). School crime control and prevention. In M. Tonry (Ed.), Crime and justice: A review of research, Vol. 39.Google Scholar
  15. Coon, J. K. (2004). The adoption of crime prevention technologies in public schools (Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Cincinnati).Google Scholar
  16. Debnam, K. J., Johnson, S. L., Waasdorp, T. E., & Bradshaw, C. P. (2013). Equity, connection, and engagement in the school context to promote positive youth development. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 24, 447–459. doi: 10.1111/jora.12083.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Eaton, D. K., Kann, L., Kinchen, S., Shanklin, S., Flint, K. H., Hawkins, J., et al. (2012). Youth risk behavior surveillance—United States, 2011. Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.Google Scholar
  18. Eccles, J. S., & Roeser, R. W. (2009). Schools, academic motivation, and stage-environment fit. In R. M. Lerner & L. Steinberg (Eds.), Handbook of adolescent psychology (pp. 404–434). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley. doi: 10.1002/978047479193.adlpsy00101.Google Scholar
  19. Eccles, J. S., & Roeser, R. W. (2011). Schools as developmental contexts during adolescence. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 21, 225–241. doi: 10.1111/j.1532-7795.2010.00725.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Finn, P., & McDevitt, J. (2005). National assessment of school resource officer programs. Washington, DC: Final project report prepared for the National Institute of Justice.Google Scholar
  21. 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. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2007.09.020.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Fuentes, A. (2011). Lockdown high: When the schoolhouse becomes a jailhouse. Brooklyn, NY: Verso Books.Google Scholar
  23. Garcia, C. A. (2003). School safety technology in America: Current use and perceived effectiveness. Criminal Justice Policy Review, 14, 30–54. doi: 10.1177/0887403402250716.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 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. doi: 10.1007/s10964-007-9192-4.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Gottfredson, G. D., Gottfredson, D. C., Payne, A. A., & Gottfredson, N. (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. doi: 10.1177/0022427804271931.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Graham, J. W. (2009). Missing data analysis: Making it work in the real world. Annual Review of Psychology, 60, 549–576. doi: 10.1146/annurev.psych.58.110405.085530.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Guo, S., & Fraser, M. W. (2010). Propensity score analysis: Statistical methods and applications. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  28. Hankin, A., Hertz, M., & Simon, T. (2011). Impacts of metal detector use in schools: Insights from 15 years of research. Journal of School Health, 81, 100–106. doi: 10.1111/j.1746-1561.2010.00566.x.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Hirano, K., & Imbens, G. W. (2004). The propensity score with continuous treatments. In A. G. X. L. Meng (Ed.), Applied Bayesian modeling and causal inference from incomplete-data perspectives (pp. 73–84). Chichester, West Sussex: John Wiley & Sons Ltd.Google Scholar
  30. Hirschfield, P. J. (2008). Preparing for prison? The criminalization of school discipline in the USA. Theoretical Criminology, 12, 79–101. doi: 10.1177/1362480607085795.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Hirschfield, P. (2010). School surveillance in America: Disparate and unequal. In T. Monahan & R. D. Torres (Eds.), Schools under surveillance: Cultures of control in public education (pp. 38–54). New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.Google Scholar
  32. Hurst, Y. G., & Frank, J. (2000). How kids view cops: The nature of juvenile attitudes toward the police. Journal of Criminal Justice, 28, 189–202. doi: 10.1016/S0047-2352(00)00035-0.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Imai, K., & Van Dyk, D. A. (2004). Causal inference with general treatment regimes: Generalizing the propensity score. Journal of the American Statistical Association, 99, 854–866. doi: 10.1198/016214504000001187.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Jackson, A. (2002). Police-school resource officers’ and students’ perception of the police and offending. Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, 25, 631–650. doi: 10.1108/13639510210437078.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Krug, E. G., Dahlberg, L. L., Mercy, J. A., Zwi, A. B., & Lozano, R. (2002). World report on violence and health. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization.Google Scholar
  36. Kupchik, A. (2010). Homeroom security: School discipline in an age of fear. New York, NY: New York University Press.Google Scholar
  37. Kupchik, A., & Monahan, T. (2006). The New American School: Preparation for post-industrial discipline. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 27, 617–631. doi: 10.1080/01425690600958816.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Kupchik, A., & Ward, G. (2014). Race, poverty, and exclusionary school security: An empirical analysis of U.S. elementary, middle, and high schools. Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice, 12, 332–354. doi: 10.1177/1541204013503890.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Lacoe, J. (2013). Too scared to learn? The academic consequences of feeling unsafe at school (IESP Working Paper #02-13). New York, NY: New York University, Institute for Education and Social Policy.Google Scholar
  40. Lawson, M. A., & Lawson, H. A. (2013). New conceptual frameworks for student engagement research, policy, and practice. Review of Educational Research. doi: 10.3102/0034654313480891.Google Scholar
  41. Lee, V. E., Bryk, A. S., & Smith, J. B. (1993). The organization of effective secondary schools. Review of Research in Education, 19, 171–267.Google Scholar
  42. Lerner, R. M., & Castellino, D. R. (2002). Contemporary developmental theory and adolescence: Developmental systems and applied developmental science. Journal of Adolescent Health, 31, 122–135. doi: 10.1016/S1054-139X(02)00495-0.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Link, J. W. (2010). School resource officers in Missouri public schools: School safety and academic success. (Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Lindenwood University).Google Scholar
  44. Lipsey, M. W., & Derzon, J. H. (1998). Predictors of violent or serious delinquency in adolescence and early adulthood: A synthesis of longitudinal research. In R. Loeber & D. P. Farrington (Eds.), Serious and violent juvenile offenders: Risk factors and successful interventions (pp. 86–105). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  45. Mayer, M. J., & Leone, P. E. (1999). A structural analysis of school violence and disruption: Implications for creating safer schools. Education and Treatment of Children, 22, 333–356.Google Scholar
  46. McEvoy, A., & Welker, R. (2000). Antisocial behavior, academic failure, and school climate: A critical review. Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders, 8, 130–140. doi: 10.1177/106342660000800301.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Milam, A. J., Furr-Holden, C. D. M., & Leaf, P. J. (2010). Perceived school and neighborhood safety, neighborhood violence and academic achievement in urban school children. Urban Review, 42, 458–467. doi: 10.1007/s11256-010-0165-7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Na, C., & Gottfredson, D. C. (2013). Police officers in schools: Effects on school crime and the processing of offending behaviors. Justice Quarterly, 30, 619–650. doi: 10.1080/07418825.2011.615754.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Noguera, P. A. (1995). Preventing and producing violence: A critical analysis of responses to school violence. Harvard Educational Review, 65, 189–212.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Payne, A. A., & Welch, K. (2010). Modeling the effects of racial threat on punitive and restorative school discipline practices. Criminology, 48, 1019–1062. doi: 10.1111/j.1745-9125.2010.00211.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Peguero, A. A., & Bracy, N. L. (2015). School order, justice, and education: Climate, discipline practices, and dropping out. Journal of Research on Adolescence. doi: 10.1111/jora.12138.Google Scholar
  52. Roeser, R. W., Eccles, J. S., & Sameroff, A. J. (2000). School as a context of early adolescents’ academic and social-emotional development: A summary of research findings. The Elementary School Journal, 100, 443–471. doi: 10.1086/499650.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Rogers, III, R. F. (2004). A study to determine if the implementation of the school resource officer (SRO) in a county school system has been effective in providing overall positive changes in school environments that have resulted in improved scholarship and decreased adverse behaviors by students. (Unpublished doctoral dissertation, The University of Tennessee).Google Scholar
  54. Rubin, D. B. (1987). Multiple imputation for nonresponse in surveys. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons. doi: 10.1002/9780470316696.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Ruddy, S. A., Neiman, S., Bauer, L., Hryczaniuk, C.A., Thomas, T.L., & Parmer, R.J. (2010). 2007–2008 School survey on crime and safety (SSOCS): Survey documentation for restricted-used data file users (NCES 2010-308). Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education.Google Scholar
  56. Scales, P. C., Benson, P. L., Leffert, N., & Blyth, D. A. (2000). Contribution of developmental assets to the prediction of thriving among adolescents. Applied Developmental Science, 4, 27–46. doi: 10.1207/S1532480XADS0401_3.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Schafer, J. L., & Graham, J. W. (2002). Missing data: Our view of the state of the art. Psychological Methods, 7, 147–177. doi: 10.1037/1082-989X.7.2.147.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Skiba, R. J., & Peterson, R. L. (2000). School discipline at a crossroads: From zero tolerance to early response. Exceptional Children, 66, 335–346.Google Scholar
  59. Steinka-Fry, K. T., Fisher, B. W., & Tanner-Smith, E. E. (2015). Typologies and predictors of visible school security measures across diverse middle and high school settings. Manuscript submitted for publication.Google Scholar
  60. Tanner-Smith, E. E., Fisher, B. W., & Gardella, J. H. (2015). Visible security measures and school safety: Results from two national U.S. surveys. Manuscript submitted for publication.Google Scholar
  61. Tanner-Smith, E. E., & Lipsey, M. W. (2014). Identifying baseline covariates for use in propensity scores: A novel approach illustrated for a nonrandomized study of recovery high schools. Peabody Journal of Education, 89, 183–196. doi: 10.1080/0161956.X2014.895647.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. The White House. (2013). Now is the time (pp. 1–15). Washington, D.C.: The White House. Retrieved from http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/docs/wh_now_is_the_time_full.pdf
  63. Theriot, M. T. (2009). School resource officers and the criminalization of student behavior. Journal of Criminal Justice, 37, 280–287. doi: 10.1016/j.jcrimjus.2009.04.008.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. U.S. Department of Justice. (2009). National crime victimization survey: school crime supplement, 2007: Codebook [Computer file]. (ICPSR23041-v1). Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Programs. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor].Google Scholar
  65. 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. doi: 10.1111/j.1532-7795.2011.00763.x.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Warnick, B. R. (2007). Surveillance cameras in schools: An ethical analysis. Harvard Educational Review, 77, 317–343.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Watts, I. E., & Erevelles, N. (2004). These deadly times: Reconceptualizing school violence by using critical race theory and disability studies. American Educational Research Journal, 41, 271–299. doi: 10.3102/00028312041002271.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Welch, K., & Payne, A. A. (2010). Racial threat and punitive school discipline. Social Problems, 57, 25–48. doi: 10.1525/sp.2010.57.1.25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Welch, K., & Payne, A. A. (2012). Exclusionary school punishment: The effect of racial threat on expulsion and suspension. Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice, 10, 155–171. doi: 10.1177/1541204011423766.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. World Health Organization. (2007). WHO expert committee on problems related to alcohol consumption: Second report. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization.Google Scholar
  71. World Health Organization. (2009). WHO report on the global tobacco epidemic, 2009: Implementing smoke-free environments. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Human and Organizational Development, Peabody Research InstituteVanderbilt UniversityNashvilleUSA
  2. 2.Department of Human and Organizational DevelopmentVanderbilt UniversityNashvilleUSA

Personalised recommendations