Title

Multilevel Influences on School Disorder: A Comment on Welsh, Greene, and Jenkins

Keywords

education, community, misconduct, criminology

Abstract

Welsh et al. (1999) (hereafter WGJ) use a multilevel statistical model to examine whether school and community characteristics affect school misconduct at the individual level. Based on data collected from 7,583 students attending 11 middle schools in Philadelphia, they find that, with the exception of local and "imported" community poverty, school-level variables, such as size, and community-level variables, such as residential stability, have no significant direct effect on misconduct when individual-level variables are included in a hierarchical linear model (HLM). WGJ conclude that "community-level differences between schools add... only slightly to the explanatory power provided by individual-level constructs." Along with other studies that have shown little explanatory power of community characteristics on delinquency and fear of crime (Elliott et al., 1996; Perkins and Taylor, 1996), this study appears to demonstrate that microlevel (or mesolevel) factors have little impact on behaviors of interest to the criminological community. Rather, individual-and family-level variables are the most powerful predictors of these behaviors.

Original Publication Citation

Hoffmann, John P., and Robert A. Johnson. 2000. “Multilevel Influences on School Disorder: A Comment on Welsh, Greene, and Jenkins.” Criminology 38(4): 801-814.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date

2000-11

Publisher

Criminology

Language

English

College

Family, Home, and Social Sciences

Department

Sociology

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor

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