The Relative Impact of Self-Image on Academic Performance, School Disciplinary Problems and Delinquency

Daniel R. Lee, Indiana University of Pennsylvania

In explanations and tests of juvenile delinquency, schools often play a vital role. It has been suggested that measures of academic performance and intelligence can be used to predict involvement in delinquency. Schools also provide an atmosphere in which adolescents can learn delinquent behavior and have their delinquency rewarded by their peers. Additionally, the school setting has been identified as a possible source of strain as well as social control. Using a sample of adolescent students drawn from urban areas, this paper examines the relationship that the school setting and academic performance have on a student's self-image. Self-image is then used to predict drug use and other official measures of delinquency as well as subsequent academic performance and disciplinary problems. The relative strength of this model is then compared to other competing theoretical explanations.

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Updated 05/20/2006