Understanding the Association Between School Climate and Future Orientation

Abstract

Promoting students’ future orientation is inherently a goal of the educational system. Recently, it has received more explicit attention given the increased focus on career readiness. This study aimed to examine the association between school climate and adolescents’ report of future orientation using data from youth (N = 27,698; 49.4 % female) across 58 high schools. Three-level hierarchical linear models indicated that perceptions of available emotional and service supports, rules and consequences, and parent engagement were positively related to adolescents’ future orientation. Additionally, the school-level average future orientation was significantly related to individuals’ future orientation, indicating a potential influence of contextual effects on this construct. Taken together, these findings suggest that interventions targeting school climate may hold promise for promoting future orientation.

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Acknowledgments

This work was funded in part by grants from the US Department of Education and William T. Grant Foundation awarded to the third author. We would like to thank the Maryland State Department of Education and Sheppard Pratt Health System for their support of this research through the Maryland Safe and Supportive Schools Project.

Author contributions

SLJ conceived of the research questions, coordinated data collection, participated in data analysis, and drafted the manuscript; EP participated in data analysis and helped draft the manuscript; CPB conceived of the study, designed the measurement tool, coordinated data collection, and helped draft the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

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The authors report no conflicts of interest.

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Correspondence to Sarah Lindstrom Johnson.

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Lindstrom Johnson, S., Pas, E. & Bradshaw, C.P. Understanding the Association Between School Climate and Future Orientation. J Youth Adolescence 45, 1575–1586 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10964-015-0321-1

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Keywords

  • Positive youth development
  • School
  • Career readiness
  • Environment