School resource officers, safety, and discipline: Perceptions and experiences across racial/ethnic groups in Minnesota secondary schools

Christen Pentek, Marla E. Eisenberg

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    21 Scopus citations

    Abstract

    School resource officers (SROs) are commonplace in schools, but little research has examined students’ views of these officers. This study used a large school-based sample (N = 126,868) to test associations between the awareness of presence and perceptions of SROs, school safety and disciplinary experiences, and differences by race/ethnicity. 71% of students reported awareness of an SRO and perceptions were fairly neutral. Four of six racial/ethnic groups had no statistical difference in feeling safe associated with SRO presence, and perceptions of SROs were associated with feeling safe (OR = 1.08) and small decreases in discipline experiences (OR = 0.87). Interaction terms indicated that students of Color had smaller benefits related to SROs than White students. SRO programs may deserve critical review and further training to improve well-being among students of all backgrounds.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)141-148
    Number of pages8
    JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
    Volume88
    DOIs
    StatePublished - May 2018

    Bibliographical note

    Funding Information:
    This work was supported by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau of the Health Resources and Service Administration (T71MC00025). The funder played no role in the design and conduct of the study; collection, management, analysis, and interpretation of data; preparation, review, or approval of the manuscript; or the decision to submit the manuscript for publication.

    Funding Information:
    This work was supported by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau of the Health Resources and Service Administration ( T71MC00025 ). The funder played no role in the design and conduct of the study; collection, management, analysis, and interpretation of data; preparation, review, or approval of the manuscript; or the decision to submit the manuscript for publication.

    Publisher Copyright:
    © 2018 Elsevier Ltd

    Keywords

    • Race
    • Safety
    • School resource officers
    • Secondary school

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