Profiles of Student Perceptions of School Climate: Relations with Risk Behaviors and Academic Outcomes.Am J Community Psychol. 2016 06; 57(3-4):291-307.AJ
School climate has been linked to a variety of positive student outcomes, but there may be important within-school differences among students in their experiences of school climate. This study examined within-school heterogeneity among 47,631 high school student ratings of their school climate through multilevel latent class modeling. Student profiles across 323 schools were generated on the basis of multiple indicators of school climate: disciplinary structure, academic expectations, student willingness to seek help, respect for students, affective and cognitive engagement, prevalence of teasing and bullying, general victimization, bullying victimization, and bullying perpetration. Analyses identified four meaningfully different student profile types that were labeled positive climate, medium climate-low bullying, medium climate-high bullying, and negative climate. Contrasts among these profile types on external criteria revealed meaningful differences for race, grade-level, parent education level, educational aspirations, and frequency of risk behaviors.