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A study of vandalism in selected secondary colleges
thesisposted on 08.02.2017, 05:21 by Evans, Andrew Parks
Vandalism has been a continuing problem in secondary schools in Victorian country regions. Damage caused to buildings, fixtures, equipment and materials has been reported in the media on many occasions. As well as major types of destruction, the subtle defacement of furniture, fixtures and fittings has continued to prevail. The constancy of both forms of vandalism has continued to perplex and exasperate school management personnel. The study outlined in the following chapters was designed to examine some of the characteristics of school vandalism. The study of vandalism was conducted in selected secondary schools in the Gippsland region of Victoria, Australia. 541 students (Males=268; Females=273) were recruited from six government secondary colleges and one non-government secondary college. The participants who had ages ranging from 14 to 16 years were recruited from year levels 9 and 10 in those schools. As it was anticipated that school environment variables would influence students' involvement in vandalism, data pertaining to the influences of these variables on students' destructive behaviours were obtained through the use of a vandalism questionnaire. In addition, to determine the association between students' coping behaviours and vandalism the specific long form of the Adolescent Coping Scale was administered to approximately two-thirds of the participants (N=312). Four different student vandalism profiles emanated from the data and the written comments provided by students. Each profile centred on the level of concern students expressed about school vandalism and how school environment variables (boredom, disobedience and peers) influenced their destructive attitudes and behaviours. The attributes outlined in these students' profiles were useful in understanding the implications of the research findings, and as a basis for the suggestions for future research.