New study examines the association between race, ethnicity and exclusionary discipline practices

phys.org | 2/24/2016 | Staff
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Discipline and how it is administered in schools across the U.S. continues to be a hotly debated topic. Now a University of Kentucky doctoral graduate's expansive research on the subject has been published in the Journal of School Psychology and is gaining widespread attention from teachers, administrators, and researchers.

Albert Ksinan, who earned his Ph.D. from the Department of Family Sciences in the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment last year, is principal investigator on the study and completed the most comprehensive analysis of the topic to date while still at UK. Currently a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Psychology at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in Richmond, Ksinan is lead author on the paper, "National Ethnic and Racial Disparities in Disciplinary Practices: A Contextual Analysis in American Secondary Schools." Co-authors are Alexander T. Vazsonyi, John I. & Patricia J. Buster Endowed Professor of Family Sciences (UK); Gabriela Ksinan Jiskrova, also a UK Ph.D. graduate in Family Sciences and now a postdoctoral fellow at VCU's School of Social Work; and James L. Peugh, associate professor of Pediatrics, University of Cincinnati.

Project - Ethnicity - Race - School - Discipline

The project analyzed how ethnicity and race are associated with school exclusionary discipline practices, which refer to students being removed from school as a form of punishment. Previous studies have found ethnic and racial disparities in the rates of school discipline actions, where ethnic and racial minority students (particularly African American youth) were found to be overrepresented among students that are disciplined.

"Exclusionary discipline can be particularly harmful during adolescence, because in many cases, it leaves adolescents without any real possibility to finish high school," said Ksinan. "Given that adolescence is the developmental period associated with the highest rate of delinquent behaviors, it is can be argued that school expulsion during this 'window of vulnerability' leads to an increased risk of engaging...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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