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

2 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

Keywords

  • Race
  • Safety
  • School resource officers
  • Secondary school

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