PROFESSIONALS' OPINIONS CONCERNING HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS' BEHAVIORS (ADOLESCENTS, SEXUALITY, SUBSTANCE USE)

BEL-MICHELE DEMILLE, Fordham University

Abstract

The investigation was a comparative study of the opinions which 58 urban teachers, 28 principals, and 32 school psychologists expressed concerning the normativeness of (grade, interpretations, prevalence, and circumstances) and the interventions warranted, when male and female high school students engaged in nine selected behaviors in the areas of substance use and sexuality. The relationships of professionals' group affiliation, students' gender, and their interactions, were examined with regard to differences among the professionals' opinions.^ Respondents worked in urban high schools that were predominantly academic-comprehensive, public high school settings in the New York metropolitan area. The Professionals' Opinions Concerning Adolescents' Behaviors (POCAB) is a 90-item, self-administered instrument that was developed by the researcher and used to survey professionals' opinions concerning the segment of adolescent society selected for study, namely male and female high school students.^ Results of the analyses of variance and hierarchial log linear models indicated that students' gender did not prove to affect significantly professionals' opinions concerning high school students' substance use across most dimensions. Significant differences (p < .05) did exist among teachers', principals', and school psychologists' opinions due to the professionals' group affiliation. Teachers, principals, and school psychologists demonstrated different standards of normativeness across most dimensions and behaviors studied. When differences did exist among professionals' opinions, a lack of consistent proportional responses was observed across most behaviors and dimensions.^ There was more congruity among professionals' opinions concerning their opinions about the interventions warranted when students engage in each of the nine behaviors. Additionally, there was almost complete unanimity in professionals' expressed opinions concerning high school students' using cocaine or ingesting amphetamines or barbituates. No use was considered acceptable nor could the behaviors be tolerated without intervention. Furthermore, these standards were held equally for male and female high school students.^ Suggestions for future research include examining the nature of professionals' training and/or role that either coalesces or sets their responses apart from each other. Implications and consequences of professionals' discrepant opinions on communication with each other and with students were discussed. ^

Subject Area

Educational psychology

Recommended Citation

DEMILLE, BEL-MICHELE, "PROFESSIONALS' OPINIONS CONCERNING HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS' BEHAVIORS (ADOLESCENTS, SEXUALITY, SUBSTANCE USE)" (1986). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8624477.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8624477

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