The Student Stressors andAssets Survey:An Assessment of the Developmental Assets™ of Students inthe Bernards Township Scho...
Acknowledgement        This project was funded through a Drug Free Communities Support Program Grant # 2 SP12261-03 from t...
Table of ContentsAcknowledgement ............................................................................................
The Student Stressors and Assets Survey:An Assessment of the Developmental Assets™ of Students in         the Bernards Tow...
survey items, but were advised that they could leave a question blank if they did not want to answer it.All questionnaires...
Table 3. Participation in Athletics/Intramural Sports            Have you participated in Athletics/Intramural sports?    ...
In general, the findings are quite positive. The findings suggest that the students surveyed havehigh levels of Developmen...
taking the keys of a potential drunk driver, and arrangements with local taxi companies are    among the possible response...
The Student Stressors and Assets Survey:An Assessment of the Developmental Assets™ of Students in         the Bernards Tow...
Dr.P.H. of Midwestern State University/DecisionStat. The 2012 survey incorporated items from thatsurvey, with the addition...
Student Characteristics         An overview of the characteristics of the students completing the survey is presented in t...
The age distribution of students presented in Figure 4 is consistent with ages expected for thegrades surveyed and the pro...
Figure 6                                               Figure 7           Current Living Situation                        ...
Table 6. Amount of Allowance by Grade in School                                                         What is your allow...
The eight categories of Developmental Assets are listed briefly below.9 The results of the surveyare presented in separate...
Parental support was assessed further using three additional survey items; “My parents give mehelp and support when I need...
indicated that parents push them to do their best. A somewhat less positive result was that 29% ofstudents indicated getti...
Other Support        The third area of support examined through the questionnaire was support in addition to parentsand sc...
Table 11. Confidant Type by Grade Level                                                                       Grade in Sch...
Boundaries and Expectations        A second major category of Developmental Assets identified by the Search Institute isBo...
Table 13. Participation in Activities by Grade Level                                                                      ...
Commitment to Learning        A fourth category of Developmental Assets examined through the questionnaire wasCommitment t...
Two additional items were included on the survey to assess commitment to learning (See Table16). The two items examine the...
Table 17. Self Esteem and Emotional Wellbeing                                                               Grade in Schoo...
statistically significant lower levels of satisfaction with their weight than male students in both grades(Chi-square = 60...
like me.” This dropped to about 60% for 8th, 9th, and 10th graders. Between70% and 80% of students inall four grades indic...
Table 21. Impulsivity-Related Items                                                              Grade in School          ...
Nj report 2012 an assessment of the emotional assets v5 c
Nj report 2012 an assessment of the emotional assets v5 c
Nj report 2012 an assessment of the emotional assets v5 c
Nj report 2012 an assessment of the emotional assets v5 c
Nj report 2012 an assessment of the emotional assets v5 c
Nj report 2012 an assessment of the emotional assets v5 c
Nj report 2012 an assessment of the emotional assets v5 c
Nj report 2012 an assessment of the emotional assets v5 c
Nj report 2012 an assessment of the emotional assets v5 c
Nj report 2012 an assessment of the emotional assets v5 c
Nj report 2012 an assessment of the emotional assets v5 c
Nj report 2012 an assessment of the emotional assets v5 c
Nj report 2012 an assessment of the emotional assets v5 c
Nj report 2012 an assessment of the emotional assets v5 c
Nj report 2012 an assessment of the emotional assets v5 c
Nj report 2012 an assessment of the emotional assets v5 c
Nj report 2012 an assessment of the emotional assets v5 c
Nj report 2012 an assessment of the emotional assets v5 c
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in …5
×

Nj report 2012 an assessment of the emotional assets v5 c

487 views

Published on

0 Comments
0 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Views
Total views
487
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
1
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
6
Comments
0
Likes
0
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Nj report 2012 an assessment of the emotional assets v5 c

  1. 1. The Student Stressors andAssets Survey:An Assessment of the Developmental Assets™ of Students inthe Bernards Township School DistrictPrepared forBernards Township Board of HealthSeptember 2012Prepared by:Kirk Harlow, Dr.P.H.President, DecisionStatCoordinator, Graduate Programs in Health and Public AdministrationMidwestern State University3410 Taft Blvd.Wichita Falls, TX 76308decisionstat@earthlink.net940-397-4745
  2. 2. Acknowledgement This project was funded through a Drug Free Communities Support Program Grant # 2 SP12261-03 from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration of the US Department of Healthand Human Services. Additional research support was provided to Dr. Kirk Harlow through MidwesternState University, Wichita Falls, TX. Page 2 of 45
  3. 3. Table of ContentsAcknowledgement .......................................................................................................................... 2Executive Summary ........................................................................................................................ 4 Survey Design and Distribution .................................................................................................. 4 Results and Conclusions ............................................................................................................. 5 Implications of the Results.........................................................Error! Bookmark not defined.Introduction ..................................................................................................................................... 9Survey Design and Procedures ....................................................................................................... 9 Survey Design ............................................................................................................................. 9 Survey Distribution ................................................................................................................... 10Survey Results .............................................................................................................................. 10 Student Characteristics.............................................................................................................. 11Developmental Assets ................................................................................................................... 14 Support ...................................................................................................................................... 15 Parental support .................................................................................................................... 15 School Support ...................................................................................................................... 17 Other Support ........................................................................................................................ 18 Sources of Support ................................................................................................................ 18 Boundaries and Expectations .................................................................................................... 20 Constructive Use of Time ......................................................................................................... 20 Commitment to Learning .......................................................................................................... 22 Positive Identity ........................................................................................................................ 23 Social Competencies ................................................................................................................. 25 Positive Values.......................................................................................................................... 28 Empowerment ........................................................................................................................... 29Risk and Behavioral Problems ...................................................................................................... 30 Behavioral problems ............................................................................................................. 30 Alcohol and Drugs ................................................................................................................ 31Student Cheating and Bullying ..................................................................................................... 35 Cheating ................................................................................................................................ 35 Bullying................................................................................................................................. 36Relationships ................................................................................................................................. 37Differences between the 2005 and 2012 Surveys ......................................................................... 39 Support .................................................................................................................................. 39 Boundaries and expectations................................................................................................. 40 Constructive use of time ....................................................................................................... 40 Commitment to learning ....................................................................................................... 41 Positive Identity .................................................................................................................... 41 Social competence ................................................................................................................ 42 Positive values ...................................................................................................................... 42 Empowerment ....................................................................................................................... 42 Summary of Comparisons..................................................................................................... 42Summary and Conclusions ........................................................................................................... 42 Implications of the Results........................................................................................................ 44 Page 3 of 45
  4. 4. The Student Stressors and Assets Survey:An Assessment of the Developmental Assets™ of Students in the Bernards Township School District Prepared by Kirk Harlow, Dr.P.H. September 2012 Executive Summary The results of a survey of 6 , 8th, 10th, and 12th grade students in Bernards Township, NJ School thDistrict conducted in Spring 2012 are presented in this report. The survey was similar to the surveyconducted in Spring 2005. The survey was designed to examine the Developmental Assets of students.Developmental Assets are factors, that if present, may help prevent or protect against high-risk behaviorsuch as drug abuse or delinquency. The eight Developmental Asset categories that were examinedincluded:1 1. Support—support from family, school, and community; 2. Constructive use of time—enriching activities in which young people can participate; 3. Boundaries and expectation—clear expectations and limits; 4. Commitment to learning—lifelong commitment to learning and education; 5. Positive identity—Sense of purpose and worth; 6. Social competencies—Skills equipping young people to make effective choices; 7. Positive values—guiding values for choices; and 8. Empowerment—valuing of young people by the community. Survey Design and Distribution The design of the 2005 survey was a collaborative effort involving staff of the BernardsTownship Health Department, staff from the Bernards Township School District, and Kirk Harlow,Dr.P.H. of DecisionStat/Midwestern State University. The 2012 survey incorporated items from thatsurvey, as well as the addition of some new items to examine areas not in the original survey. Survey items to assess the Developmental Assets and other content areas were developed in twoways. Twenty-five of the survey’s questions were taken directly from the Search Institute Profiles ofStudent Life: Attitudes and Behaviors.2 This instrument was designed by the Search Institute as a tool toexamine Developmental Assets, and the items selected were identified by the design group asrepresentative of the Developmental Asset areas to be assessed. The remaining questions were designed specifically for this survey. These items were designedto capture information on a number of risk behaviors including alcohol and drug use. The purpose of thisinformation was to provide an estimate of the prevalence of high-risk behavior. In addition, it wasnecessary for tests of association of the strength of Developmental Assets with risk behaviors. Some ofthe other information that was collected included student demographics, student cheating activities,bullying experiences, potential adult confidants, and participation in extra-curricular activities. The target population for the survey included all 6th, 8th, 10th, and 12th graders in the SchoolDistrict. Parents were informed of the survey and asked to grant permission to complete the survey.Surveys were provided to students whose parents granted permission. Teachers distributed the surveys intheir classrooms and the surveys were completed at that time. Students were encouraged to complete all1 See the Search Institute, http://www.search-institute.org/content/40-developmental-assets-adolescents-ages-12-182 © Search Institute, Minneapolis, MN, 1996. Page 4 of 45
  5. 5. survey items, but were advised that they could leave a question blank if they did not want to answer it.All questionnaires were anonymous and sent to DecisionStat for entry and tabulation. The response rates by gender and grade are presented in Table 1. There were 1035 completedsurveys, resulting in an overall response rate of 56%. As Table 1 shows, there are some notabledifferences in response rates when looked at by gender and grade. In particular, the response rate wasquite low for 8th graders. There were some difficulties with survey distribution for this grade because thesurvey was distributed at the end of the school year. Table 1. Response Rates by Grade and Gender Grade Males Females Total 6th 56% 62% 59% 8th 31% 33% 32% 10th 77% 84% 80% 12th 48% 63% 56% Total 53% 60% 56% Results and Conclusions Overall, most of the students surveyed reported high levels of Developmental Assets. Thissuggests that most students had in place factors that contribute to reducing risk behaviors. Threesummary tables designed to provide an overview of the survey results are presented below. These tablesprovide the results of selected survey items that represent each of the Developmental Asset categories.While the summary tables do not include the results of all the survey items, the general results presentedare consistent with those discussed in detail in the report. The mean scores for seven of the eight Developmental Asset categories are presented in Table 2.Because the Developmental Asset category, Constructive Use of Time, was measured in terms ofparticipation in activities, the results are presented separately in Table 3. Table 2 indicates high mean scores across the Developmental Asset categories; results consistentwith the more detailed frequency scores noted in the report. As Table 3 shows, about three-fourths of thestudents indicated participation in some athletic or intramural activity, and most students considered theparticipation at least worthwhile. Table 2. Summary Mean Scores for Seven Developmental Asset Categories by Grade Grade in School 6th 8th 10th 12th Total Asset Categories Mean Count Mean Count Mean Count Mean Count Mean CountSupport summary 4.1 264 3.8 153 3.7 364 3.9 257 3.9 1038Boundaries 3.8 264 3.7 153 3.6 364 3.4 257 3.6 1038summaryCommitment to 4.1 264 4.0 153 4.0 364 4.1 257 4.0 1038learning summaryPositive identity 4.1 264 3.8 153 3.4 364 3.6 257 3.7 1038summarySocial competency 3.7 264 3.8 153 3.7 364 3.7 257 3.7 1038summaryPositive values 4.0 264 3.7 153 3.7 364 3.7 257 3.8 1038summaryEmpowerment 3.2 264 2.8 153 3.0 364 3.0 257 3.0 1038summary Page 5 of 45
  6. 6. Table 3. Participation in Athletics/Intramural Sports Have you participated in Athletics/Intramural sports? Yes No Grade in School Row N % Count Row N % Count 6th 76.9% 90 23.1% 27 8th 80.2% 85 19.8% 21 10th 80.7% 292 19.3% 70 12th 74.9% 191 25.1% 64 Total 78.3% 658 21.7% 182 If yes, how worthwhile do you think your participation was? Not worthwhile Somewhat worthwhile Very worthwhile Grade in School Row N % Count Row N % Count Row N % Count 6th 3.4% 3 22.7% 20 73.9% 65 8th 12.0% 11 32.6% 30 55.4% 51 10th 9.5% 28 29.7% 88 60.8% 180 12th 7.3% 14 33.0% 63 59.7% 114 Total 8.4% 56 30.1% 201 61.5% 410 A number of questions were asked regarding inappropriate behavior including stealing, physicalfighting, skipping class, going to the principal’s office, alcohol use, and drug use. These questions were asubset of the asset category, Positive Values. The two areas with the highest proportions of studentinvolvement were use of alcohol and drugs. These results are summarized in Table 4. As the tableshows, the quantity of use of both alcohol and drugs increases with grade level. By 12th grade, nearly onefourth of the respondents indicated getting drunk more than five times in the past three months. Slightlyless than one fourth of the 12th graders indicated using drugs six times in the past year. Table 4. Use of Alcohol and Drugs by Grade Grade in School 6th 8th 10th 12th Total Count Column Count Column Count Column N Count Column Count Column N% N% % N% N% In the past 3 months, have you drunk beer, wine, or “hard” liquor, not counting religious occasions? Never 160 93.6% 105 82.0% 143 39.5% 50 19.8% 458 50.1% 1 or 2 times 9 5.3% 15 11.7% 101 27.9% 52 20.6% 177 19.4% 3 or 4 times 1 0.6% 4 3.1% 52 14.4% 47 18.6% 104 11.4% 5 or more times 1 0.6% 4 3.1% 66 18.2% 104 41.1% 175 19.1% In the past 3 months, how many times have you gotten drunk? Never 165 98.8% 116 92.1% 224 62.2% 102 40.0% 607 66.9% 1 or 2 times 0 0.0% 5 4.0% 68 18.9% 52 20.4% 125 13.8% 3 or 4 times 0 0.0% 2 1.6% 38 10.6% 40 15.7% 80 8.8% 5 or more times 2 1.2% 3 2.4% 30 8.3% 61 23.9% 96 10.6% In the past year, how often used a drug other than alcohol to get high? Never 113 98.3% 96 91.4% 267 74.2% 138 53.9% 614 73.4% 1 or 2 times 2 1.7% 4 3.8% 29 8.1% 36 14.1% 71 8.5% 3 or 4 times 0 0.0% 1 1.0% 15 4.2% 15 5.9% 31 3.7% 5 or 6 times 0 0.0% 1 1.0% 6 1.7% 8 3.1% 15 1.8% More than 6 times 0 0.0% 3 2.9% 43 11.9% 59 23.0% 105 12.6% Page 6 of 45
  7. 7. In general, the findings are quite positive. The findings suggest that the students surveyed havehigh levels of Developmental Assets in place. In addition, analysis of the relationship between theDevelopmental Asset categories and alcohol and drug use indicates that many of the DevelopmentalAssets are protective; that is, the presence of an asset is associated with lower involvement ininappropriate behaviors. Thus, strengthening the Developmental Assets of students should contribute tothe prevention of risk behaviors. The Developmental Asset categories are very broad constructs. The summary tables do not fullyreflect some of the variation within the developmental asset categories. In addition, even though theoverall scores are positive, noteworthy proportions of students had low scores in some categories. Thelist that follows is a summary of the key findings.  There is a cause for concern about alcohol use. The results indicated higher alcohol use among students in athletics compared to others. A similar result was found in the 2005 survey. There also was an indication that some students are riding in cars in which they perceive the driver as being drunk. Considering all the results related to alcohol use, it appears there may be social norms that support the inappropriate use of alcohol.  While parental support was high, about one-fourth of all students indicated feeling too much pressure from parents to do well. Students who felt too much pressure also indicated feeling less support from parents.  About half of the students indicated getting support from teachers, but only 30% of all students indicated feeling that teachers cared about them.  Students indicated feeling that school rules were clear, but not necessarily family rules. In addition, it appeared that punishment for breaking family rules was not consistent. An inverse relationship between the clarity of family rules and involvement in risk behavior such as alcohol or drug use was found.  Students indicated knowing how to set limits, but they also indicated acting without thinking. Thus, even though they were high on the Social Competence category, there is the potential for impulsive behavior to override self-regulatory behavior.  By 10th grade over 25% of the students indicated cheating on a test two or more times in the past year. About two-thirds of 10th and 12th graders indicated copying homework two or more times in the past year. Implications of the Results The results of the survey indicated that most students possess high levels of the DevelopmentAssets. In general, there was little change from the results of the 2005 survey. This is a positive result,since it indicates that the high Developmental Asset levels have continued. There are, however, someareas that merit further consideration.  Similar to the results of the 2005 survey, there was significant use of alcohol among students, especially athletes. This suggests that a concerted effort may be needed to address the risk associated with alcohol use among these students. The results indicate that some of the underlying factors may be related to social norms, so efforts may be needed to change the norms among students.  The evidence that some students are riding in cars in which the driver is drunk suggests the need for increased efforts to prevent driving while drunk. It may not be possible to prevent drinking among young people, but communicating about designated drivers, approaches for Page 7 of 45
  8. 8. taking the keys of a potential drunk driver, and arrangements with local taxi companies are among the possible responses to the issue. There were clear, positive relationships between the Developmental Assets and lower involvement in risk behaviors. While many students have high scores for the assets, exploring measures that may strengthen the assets for at-risk students should be considered. Cheating in school has become a national problem, and the survey’s results indicate the problem is also present in these students. It may be useful to explore approaches to reduce cheating. There was an identified relationship between thrill seeking and impulse control, and high- risk behavior. While students indicated being able to say “no,” they also indicated that impulses could reduce resistance. Developing programs that focus not only on resistance, but impulse control, may be worthwhile. In addition, targeting high-risk students such as those with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder may be of value. The results of the survey, in an appropriate format, should be made available not only to adults in the community, but also the students. Sharing the results is empowering, and an opportunity to open discussion about the issues examined in the survey. The results may also be applicable in a number of classes as illustrations of concepts. Dissemination of the results can be a useful approach for strengthening student and community engagement in the school. In addition, sharing the results can be helpful in opening up discussions about some of the social norms that may contribute to problem areas. Full Report Continued on Next Page Page 8 of 45
  9. 9. The Student Stressors and Assets Survey:An Assessment of the Developmental Assets™ of Students in the Bernards Township School District Prepared by Kirk Harlow, Dr.P.H. September 2012 Introduction A survey of 6th, 8th, 10th, and 12th grade students in Bernards Township, NJ School District wasconducted in Spring 2012. The results of the survey are presented in this report. The survey was similarto a survey of student in the School District conducted in Spring 2005. It was designed to examine theDevelopmental Assets of students. Developmental Assets are factors, that if present, may help prevent orprotect against high-risk behavior such as drug abuse or delinquency. The eight categories ofDevelopmental Assets are briefly listed below.3 1. Support—support from family, school, and community; 2. Constructive use of time—enriching activities in which young people can participate; 3. Boundaries and expectation—clear expectations and limits; 4. Commitment to learning—lifelong commitment to learning and education; 5. Positive identity—Sense of purpose and worth; 6. Social competencies—Skills equipping young people to make effective choices; 7. Positive values—guiding values for choices; and 8. Empowerment—valuing of young people by the community. In addition to gathering information on Developmental Assets, information on a number of riskbehaviors was collected. The purpose of this information was to provide, both information on theprevalence of high-risk behavior, and to provide the ability to examine if the presence of DevelopmentalAssets was associated with levels of high-risk behavior. Several other categories of information were alsocollected: including student demographics, bullying experiences, potential adult confidants, participationin extra-curricular activities, and student engagement in cheating. The results of the survey are presented in the remainder of this report. A discussion of the surveydesign and distribution procedures is presented in the next section. This is followed by a presentation ofthe results of the survey. The Results section is divided into several subsections including results on thecharacteristics of student respondents, the assessment of the Developmental Assets of students, theexamination of the relationship of the Developmental Assets to risk behavior, and a comparison of thecurrent survey results to those from 2005. The report is concluded with comments on the implications ofthe results. Survey Design and Procedures Survey Design The design of the 2005 survey was a collaborative effort involving staff of the BernardsTownship Health Department, staff from the Bernards Township School District, and Kirk Harlow,3 See the Search Institute, http://www.search-institute.org/content/40-developmental-assets-adolescents-ages-12-18 Page 9 of 45
  10. 10. Dr.P.H. of Midwestern State University/DecisionStat. The 2012 survey incorporated items from thatsurvey, with the addition of some new items to examine areas not included in the 2005 survey. Survey items for the content areas were developed in two ways. First, twenty-five of the survey’squestions were taken directly from the Search Institute Profiles of Student Life: Attitudes andBehaviors. 4 This instrument was designed by the Search Institute as a tool to examine DevelopmentalAssets, and the items selected were identified by the 2005 design group as representative of theDevelopmental Asset areas to be assessed. These represented survey items that had demonstratedeffective construction, thereby improving the overall survey design. The remaining questions were designed specifically for this survey applying commonly usedformats in the construction of the items, or adapting items that were used in other surveys. The questionsused to examine student cheating were adapted from a survey conducted by the Josephson Institute.5 Survey Distribution The target population for the survey included all 6th, 8th, 10th, and 12th graders in the SchoolDistrict. Parents were informed of the survey and asked to grant permission to complete the survey.Teachers distributed the surveys in their classrooms, and the surveys were completed at that time.Students were encouraged to complete all survey items, but were advised that they could leave a questionblank if they did not want to answer it. All questionnaires were anonymous and sent to DecisionStat forentry and tabulation. The response rates by gender and grade are presented in Table 5. There were 1035 completedsurveys, resulting in an overall response rate of 56%. As Table 5 shows, there are some notabledifferences in responses rates when looked at by gender and grade. In particular, the response rate wasquite low for 8th graders. There were some difficulties with survey distribution for this grade because thesurvey was distributed at the end of the school year. Table 5. Response Rates by Grade and Gender Grade Males Females Total 6th 56% 62% 59% 8th 31% 33% 32% 10th 77% 84% 80% 12th 48% 63% 56% Total 53% 60% 56% Survey Results The results of the survey are presented in four general sections. The demographic characteristicsof the students completing the survey are presented in the first section in order to provide the reader withan understanding of the nature of the student population. The second section, Developmental Assets,provides the results of the survey for each of the eight Developmental Asset categories. The third sectionincludes results on questions that are not specifically part of the analysis of Development Assets. A moreextensive analysis of the factors that relate to the ratings of Developmental Assets is provided in thefourth section. Finally, a discussion comparing the results of the 2005 survey to those from the 2012survey is presented in the fifth section.4 The Search Institute’s survey items were used by permission. © Search Institute, Minneapolis, MN, 1996.5 See this website for information on the survey: http://charactercounts.org/programs/reportcard/2010/index.html Page 10 of 45
  11. 11. Student Characteristics An overview of the characteristics of the students completing the survey is presented in thissection to provide a profile of the respondent population. Additional discussion of the relationship of thedemographic factors to other factors examined in the survey is provided later in the report. The gender breakdown of the student respondents is presented in Figure 1. There were slightlymore female respondents (52.7%) than male respondents (47.3%). The breakdown of student respondentsby grade in school is presented in Figure 2. As noted above, the number of respondents is markedlylower for the 8th grade than the other grades. A further breakdown of the respondents by their grade in school and gender is presented inFigure 3. While the overall respondent population had slightly more females than males, the gender mixvaried somewhat among the different grade levels. In particular, the difference in proportions for malesand females was distinctly greater for respondents in the 12th grade than in the other grades. In otherwords, much of the overall difference in gender proportions is attributable to the respondents in the 12thgrade. Figure 1 Figure 2 Student Gender Current Grade in School Figure 3 Current Grade in School by Gender Page 11 of 45
  12. 12. The age distribution of students presented in Figure 4 is consistent with ages expected for thegrades surveyed and the proportions of respondents by grade level. Nearly one quarter of the respondentswere age 16, and nearly half of the respondents were 16 or older. Just over a quarter of the respondentswere age 12 or younger. As shown in Figure 5, about three-fourths of the students responding indicated White as theirethnicity, and a sizable number of students (18.4 %) indicated Asian or Pacific Islander. Only a smallnumber of students noted African American, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian, or other. These resultsare consistent with the ethnic composition of the population in the school district.6 Figure 4 Figure 5 Current Age of Students Ethnic Composition of Students The majority of students (84%) indicated living with both parents (See Figure 6). This is amarkedly higher proportion than the 61% reported by the U.S. Bureau of the Census.7 Figure 7 indicatesthat most of the student respondents have lived in the community over 5 years, and over two-thirds havelived in the community over 10 years. Taken together, these two figures indicate a very stable livingsituation for most of the student respondents.6 The 2010 Census for Bernards Township indicated 78% White/Non-Hispanic and 14% Asian, and 8% othergroups. U.S. Bureau of the Census. Census 2010. Table DP-1. Profile of General Demographic Characteristics:2010, Bernards Township, Somerset County, NJ. Please note that the definitions of racial and ethnic categories arecomplex. U.S. census data is reported using a number of different definitions, so the results may vary slightlydepending on the definition used.7 Source: United States Census Bureau, 2010 Census of the Population, Table QT-P12. Page 12 of 45
  13. 13. Figure 6 Figure 7 Current Living Situation Time Lived in Community The class letter grades reported by the students are presented in Figure 8. Three-fourths of thestudents indicated receiving at least As and Bs. Less than four percent of the students indicated grades ofC or lower. By traditional standards, the performance of most students is above average. Figure 8 Figure 9 School Grades What is Your Allowance? The availability of discretionary money is one factor that may contribute to substance abuse,since resources are available for making purchases. As shown in Figure 9 above, about two-thirds of thestudents indicated they received money as needed rather than an allowance. The results in Table 6 revealsome variations among the grades, but “get money as needed” is still the most likely response. Inaddition, only about 13% of the respondents indicated having a job (See Figure 10). Since most studentsdo not receive a fixed sum of money, it is difficult to determine to what extent discretionary money isavailable. That said, the young person who is so inclined certainly is able to divert money from onepurpose to another. Page 13 of 45
  14. 14. Table 6. Amount of Allowance by Grade in School What is your allowance? $5.01 to $10.01 to $15.01 to $20.01 to More than Get money as $5.00 or less $10.00 15.00 20.00 $25.00 $25.00 needed Count Row N Count Row N Count Row N Count Row N Count Row N Count Row N Count Row N % % % % % % % 6th 57 21.7% 26 9.9% 10 3.8% 5 1.9% 0 0.0% 3 1.1% 162 61.6% 8th 27 17.8% 8 5.3% 2 1.3% 5 3.3% 1 0.7% 1 0.7% 108 71.1% Grade in 10th 36 10.0% 19 5.3% 14 3.9% 13 3.6% 10 2.8% 12 3.3% 257 71.2% School 12th 37 14.4% 11 4.3% 8 3.1% 12 4.7% 7 2.7% 13 5.1% 169 65.8% Total 157 15.2% 64 6.2% 34 3.3% 35 3.4% 18 1.7% 29 2.8% 696 67.4% Figure 10 Do You Currently Have a Job? The student respondents mirror the school districts students, because they are predominantlyWhite, have lived in the community most of their school-aged lives, live with both parents, and tend tohave grades that are above average. There were slightly more female than male respondents, especiallyamong those in the 12th grade. The largest segment of respondents were age 16 and over, followed bythose 12 and under. Developmental Assets One aim of the survey was to assess to what extent the students in the school district had as a setof attributes that may contribute to the prevention of high-risk behavior. The Search Institute developedone framework for assessing these attributes that includes eight Developmental Asset categories and 40corresponding Developmental Assets. Research has suggested that these assets may be protective factorsand play a part in preventing inappropriate and high-risk behaviors among youth.88 For more information, please see the Search Institute website: http://www.search-institute.org/content/what-are-developmental-assets. Page 14 of 45
  15. 15. The eight categories of Developmental Assets are listed briefly below.9 The results of the surveyare presented in separate sections for each asset category. 1. Support—support from family, school, and community; 2. Constructive use of time—enriching activities in which young people can participate; 3. Boundaries and expectation—clear expectations and limits; 4. Commitment to learning—lifelong commitment to learning and education; 5. Positive identity—Sense of purpose and worth; 6. Social competencies—Skills equipping young people to make effective choices; 7. Positive values—guiding values for choices; and 8. Empowerment—valuing of young people by the community. Support The first major category of Developmental Assets identified by the Search Institute is Support.Research suggests that the presence of support from parents and others is one of the most importantfactors in the prevention of high-risk behavior. The results of the survey items related to support arepresented in this section of the report.Parental support One part of the general category of support is parental support. Students were asked twoquestions regarding their parents’ involvement with and interest in their school work. As can be seen inTable 7, about three-fourths of the 6th graders indicated that parents help with homework at leastsometimes, but this declined to about 27% for 12th graders. About 70% of the students indicated that theirparents spoke with them about school either “Often” or “Very often” in the 6th grade, declining to about49% for 12th graders. These two questions suggest quite high parental support and involvement, although,as might be expected, parental support declined as the grade levels increased. Table 7. Frequency of Parental School Involvement by Grade Level Grade in School 6th 8th 10th 12th Total Count Column Count Column Count Column Count Column Count Column N% N% N% N% N%How often do Very often 33 12.8% 5 3.4% 7 1.9% 4 1.6% 49 4.8%parents help Often 60 23.3% 24 16.4% 28 7.8% 19 7.4% 131 12.8%you with Sometimes 100 38.9% 46 31.5% 121 33.5% 47 18.3% 314 30.8%homework? Seldom 55 21.4% 50 34.2% 134 37.1% 96 37.4% 335 32.8% Never 9 3.5% 21 14.4% 71 19.7% 91 35.4% 192 18.8%How often do Very often 86 33.7% 46 31.1% 86 23.8% 42 16.3% 260 25.4%parents talk Often 99 38.8% 45 30.4% 115 31.8% 83 32.3% 342 33.5%to you about Sometimes 52 20.4% 34 23.0% 103 28.5% 83 32.3% 272 26.6%what you are Seldom 14 5.5% 18 12.2% 40 11.0% 34 13.2% 106 10.4%doing in Never 4 1.6% 5 3.4% 18 5.0% 15 5.8% 42 4.1%school?9 Search Institute. Asset categories. http://www.search-institute.org/developmental-assets/lists Page 15 of 45
  16. 16. Parental support was assessed further using three additional survey items; “My parents give mehelp and support when I need it,” “My parents push me to do the best that I can,” and “My parents put toomuch pressure on me to do well.” The first two items reflect slightly different forms of parental support.The third item was included to assess the extent students may feel too much pressure from parents, even ifthey also receive help and support. As shown in Table 8, about 87% of the total students indicated they “Agreed” or “Stronglyagreed” with the statement, “My parents give me help and support when I need it.” In addition, only3.1% indicated that they “Disagree” or “Strongly disagree” with the statement. The results were verysimilar for the statement, “My parents push me to do the best that I can,” with about 84% agreeing orstrongly agreeing with the statement. Table 8. Parental Support-related Survey Items by Grade Level Grade in School 6th 8th 10th 12th Total Count Column Count Column Count Column Count Column Count Column N% N% N% N% N%My parents Strongly 1 0.4% 5 3.3% 5 1.4% 6 2.3% 17 1.6%give me help disagreeand support Disagree 5 1.9% 7 4.6% 18 5.0% 6 2.3% 36 3.5%when I need it Neutral 11 4.2% 24 15.9% 45 12.5% 25 9.7% 105 10.2% Agree 88 33.5% 48 31.8% 155 42.9% 120 46.7% 411 39.8% Strongly 158 60.1% 67 44.4% 138 38.2% 100 38.9% 463 44.9% agreeMy parents Strongly 3 1.2% 3 2.0% 4 1.1% 4 1.6% 14 1.4%push me to do disagreethe best that I Disagree 3 1.2% 4 2.7% 11 3.0% 7 2.7% 25 2.4%can Neutral 14 5.4% 16 10.8% 49 13.5% 36 14.1% 115 11.2% Agree 65 25.0% 45 30.4% 160 44.1% 121 47.3% 391 38.1% Strongly 175 67.3% 80 54.1% 139 38.3% 88 34.4% 482 46.9% agreeMy parents Strongly 50 20.2% 19 13.0% 21 5.8% 25 9.8% 115 11.4%put too much disagreepressure on Disagree 74 29.8% 33 22.6% 111 30.7% 87 34.3% 305 30.2%me to do well Neutral 66 26.6% 43 29.5% 106 29.3% 82 32.3% 297 29.4% Agree 41 16.5% 28 19.2% 81 22.4% 43 16.9% 193 19.1% Strongly 17 6.9% 23 15.8% 43 11.9% 17 6.7% 100 9.9% agree Table 8 also reveals some differences among the grade levels on the two items related to parentalsupport. In general, the perceived level of parental support tended to be inversely related to grade level.Like the results in Table 7, this is indicative of a natural transition toward more independence amongolder students. Even though there was a decline in perceived support as grade level increased, the overalllevel of support remained high for all four grade groups. Looking further at Table 8, 29% of the students indicated “Agree” or “Strongly agree” with thestatement, “My parents put too much pressure on me to do well.” In addition, only 42% of the studentsindicated some level of disagreement with the statement. These results suggest a sizable proportion ofstudents are feeling a high level of pressure. Overall, the results of the survey suggest that parental support is quite high in the studentpopulation. Most students indicated that their parents helped with homework and talked with them aboutschool. Over 80% of the students indicated getting support from parents, and about the same number also Page 16 of 45
  17. 17. indicated that parents push them to do their best. A somewhat less positive result was that 29% ofstudents indicated getting too much pressure from parents. An analysis of the support items indicated aninverse correlation (Tau b = -.233, p < .01)10 between the two items, suggesting that students feeling toomuch pressure from parents also may feel less supported by parents.School Support There were a number of questions that examined support in school, and the results for these itemsare presented in Table 9. About 49% of the total number of students indicated, “Strongly agree” or“Agree” with the statement, “I get lot of encouragement at school,” and 56% noted “Strongly agree” or“Agree” with the statement, “Teachers at school push me to do the best I can.” There was, however, quitea lot of variation in the results for the two questions from grade-to-grade. The question on encouragementdid not have a clear pattern, suggesting that the ratings are specific to the respondents in a particulargrade. The results for the second question, “Teachers at school push me to do the best I can,” aresomewhat higher for 6th and 8th graders than 10th and 12th graders. Students’ views of the level of caring of teachers were a bit more tepid than those for the othertwo questions. Only 31% noted “Agree” or “Strongly agree” with respect to the statement, “My teachersreally care about me.” The difference in results may suggest that students make a distinction betweenencouragement to perform and caring. Table 9. School Support by Grade Level Grade in School 6th 8th 10th 12th Total Count Column Count Column Count Column Count Column Count Column N% N% N% N% N%I get a lot of Strongly 11 4.2% 8 5.3% 14 3.9% 6 2.3% 39 3.8%encouragement disagreeat school Disagree 12 4.6% 11 7.2% 49 13.5% 21 8.2% 93 9.0% Neutral 93 35.4% 59 38.8% 151 41.7% 96 37.4% 399 38.6% Agree 102 38.8% 56 36.8% 121 33.4% 117 45.5% 396 38.3% Strongly 45 17.1% 18 11.8% 27 7.5% 17 6.6% 107 10.3% agreeTeachers at Strongly 5 1.9% 7 4.7% 15 4.1% 7 2.7% 34 3.3%school push me disagreeto do the best I Disagree 11 4.2% 5 3.3% 56 15.4% 26 10.1% 98 9.5%can Neutral 68 26.0% 49 32.7% 118 32.5% 83 32.3% 318 30.8% Agree 112 42.7% 62 41.3% 151 41.6% 117 45.5% 442 42.8% Strongly 66 25.2% 27 18.0% 23 6.3% 24 9.3% 140 13.6% agreeMy teachers Strongly 17 7.4% 14 10.0% 54 15.0% 18 7.1% 103 10.4%really care about disagreeme Disagree 36 15.7% 16 11.4% 84 23.3% 56 22.0% 192 19.5% Neutral 81 35.2% 56 40.0% 143 39.6% 102 40.0% 382 38.7% Agree 65 28.3% 37 26.4% 70 19.4% 69 27.1% 241 24.4% Strongly 31 13.5% 17 12.1% 10 2.8% 10 3.9% 68 6.9% agree10 Tau b is a measure of correlation used for the type of data in these survey items. Page 17 of 45
  18. 18. Other Support The third area of support examined through the questionnaire was support in addition to parentsand school (See Table 10). Over two-thirds of the students in all four grade levels indicated, “There isalways someone to turn to.” More than half of the 6th and 8th graders and slightly less than half of the 10thand 12th graders indicated, “There are a lot of people who care about them in their neighborhood.” Inaddition, about three-fourths of the students in each grade level noted that they could make friends easily. Table 10. Other Support Factors by Grade Level Grade in School 6th 8th 10th 12th Total Count Column Count Column Count Column Count Column Count Column N% N% N% N% N%There is always Strongly 3 1.2% 5 3.4% 16 4.4% 7 2.7% 31 3.1%someone I can disagreeturn to if I Disagree 9 3.7% 12 8.3% 31 8.6% 22 8.6% 74 7.4%need help Neutral 35 14.5% 28 19.3% 64 17.7% 35 13.7% 162 16.1% Agree 80 33.1% 46 31.7% 144 39.8% 117 45.9% 387 38.5% Strongly 115 47.5% 54 37.2% 107 29.6% 74 29.0% 350 34.9% agreeThere are a lot Strongly 14 5.5% 9 6.0% 22 6.1% 21 8.2% 66 6.4%of people who disagreecare about me Disagree 31 12.1% 17 11.4% 61 16.8% 48 18.8% 157 15.3%in my Neutral 71 27.7% 43 28.9% 106 29.2% 83 32.4% 303 29.6%neighborhood Agree 77 30.1% 50 33.6% 137 37.7% 80 31.2% 344 33.6% Strongly 63 24.6% 30 20.1% 37 10.2% 24 9.4% 154 15.0% agreeI make friends Strongly 9 3.7% 11 7.6% 4 1.1% 7 2.7% 31 3.1%easily disagree Disagree 12 4.9% 4 2.8% 26 7.2% 20 7.8% 62 6.2% Neutral 46 18.8% 27 18.8% 55 15.2% 40 15.7% 168 16.7% Agree 98 40.0% 61 42.4% 192 53.0% 128 50.2% 479 47.6% Strongly 80 32.7% 41 28.5% 85 23.5% 60 23.5% 266 26.4% agreeSources of Support A final set of support questions examined potential student confidants other than parents.Table 11 indicates that students were most likely to confide in a close relative or friend with about 84% ofthe students indicating “Somewhat likely” or “Very likely.” Confiding in a teacher, guidance/otherschool counselor, or coach were the next most likely choices, although a close relative or friend was morelikely. In addition, there was a general tendency for students in 6th and 8th grade to indicate a willingnessto confide in others than those in 10th and 12th grade. Page 18 of 45
  19. 19. Table 11. Confidant Type by Grade Level Grade in School 6th 8th 10th 12th Total Column N Column N Column N Column N Column N Count % Count % Count % Count % Count %Confide in Not likely at 78 30.4% 61 41.8% 197 54.3% 122 47.5% 458 44.8%teacher all Somewhat 133 51.8% 68 46.6% 143 39.4% 119 46.3% 463 45.3% likely Very likely 46 17.9% 17 11.6% 23 6.3% 16 6.2% 102 10.0%Confide in a Not likely at 113 44.0% 67 45.6% 197 54.3% 147 57.4% 524 51.2%coach all Somewhat 117 45.5% 57 38.8% 117 32.2% 80 31.2% 371 36.3% likely Very likely 27 10.5% 23 15.6% 49 13.5% 29 11.3% 128 12.5%Confide in a close Not likely at 23 8.9% 23 15.6% 70 19.3% 43 16.9% 159 15.6%relative/family allfriend Somewhat 77 30.0% 55 37.4% 126 34.7% 96 37.6% 354 34.6% likely Very likely 157 61.1% 69 46.9% 167 46.0% 116 45.5% 509 49.8%Confide in Not likely at 71 27.6% 83 56.8% 170 46.8% 114 44.5% 438 42.9%guidance/other allschool counselor Somewhat 101 39.3% 48 32.9% 149 41.0% 97 37.9% 395 38.6% likely Very likely 85 33.1% 15 10.3% 44 12.1% 45 17.6% 189 18.5%Confide in Not likely at 119 46.5% 103 71.0% 248 68.3% 175 68.6% 645 63.3%student assistance allcounselor Somewhat 107 41.8% 32 22.1% 95 26.2% 63 24.7% 297 29.1% likely Very likely 30 11.7% 10 6.9% 20 5.5% 17 6.7% 77 7.6%Confide in school Not likely at 156 60.9% 119 81.5% 307 84.8% 224 87.2% 806 78.9%nurse all Somewhat 85 33.2% 23 15.8% 50 13.8% 27 10.5% 185 18.1% likely Very likely 15 5.9% 4 2.7% 5 1.4% 6 2.3% 30 2.9%Confide in Not likely at 115 45.3% 98 67.1% 223 61.4% 136 53.1% 572 56.1%doctor, nurse, or allother health Somewhat 99 39.0% 37 25.3% 101 27.8% 84 32.8% 321 31.5%professional likely Very likely 40 15.7% 11 7.5% 39 10.7% 36 14.1% 126 12.4%Confide in an Not likely at 144 56.7% 96 65.8% 258 71.1% 178 69.5% 676 66.3%adult in your allneighborhood Somewhat 96 37.8% 40 27.4% 89 24.5% 63 24.6% 288 28.3% likely Very likely 14 5.5% 10 6.8% 16 4.4% 15 5.9% 55 5.4% In summary, the results of the survey on the Developmental Asset category of Support suggestthat the students responding to the survey perceived themselves as having support from parents, theschool, and others. Although the results were mostly positive, several areas could be strengthened. First,the results indicated that a sizable proportion of students indicated feeling too much pressure fromparents. In addition, less than half of the students indicated feeling encouragement in school. It ispossible that these issues are offset by other support factors, but the young person for whom other sourcesof support are not present may be at higher risk for problem behaviors. Page 19 of 45
  20. 20. Boundaries and Expectations A second major category of Developmental Assets identified by the Search Institute isBoundaries and Expectations. This category is comprised of Developmental Assets related to rules andexpectations. Three items on school and family rules are presented in Table 12. Less than half of the studentsindicated any level of agreement with the statement, “If I break one of my family rules, I usually getpunished.” About two-thirds of all the student respondents indicated some level of agreement with thestatement that the school has clear rules, compared with only 57% indicating the family had clear rules.The results suggest that there is more ambiguity regarding rules in students’ home settings than in theschool setting, although the majority of students indicated clear rules in both settings. Table 12. Family and School Rules by Grade Grade in School 6th 8th 10th 12th Total Count Column N Count Column N Count Column N Count Column N Count Column N % % % % %If I break one of Strongly 13 5.0% 13 8.7% 16 4.4% 18 7.0% 60 5.8%my family rules, Idisagreeusually get Disagree 21 8.0% 20 13.3% 59 16.3% 56 21.8% 156 15.1%punished Neutral 86 32.8% 37 24.7% 103 28.5% 79 30.7% 305 29.6% Agree 98 37.4% 49 32.7% 128 35.4% 73 28.4% 348 33.8% Strongly 44 16.8% 31 20.7% 56 15.5% 31 12.1% 162 15.7% agreeMy school has Strongly 5 1.9% 5 3.3% 10 2.8% 8 3.1% 28 2.7%clear rules about disagreewhat students can Disagree 5 1.9% 12 7.9% 40 11.0% 22 8.6% 79 7.6%and cannot do Neutral 34 12.9% 21 13.9% 79 21.8% 42 16.3% 176 17.0% Agree 114 43.3% 57 37.7% 172 47.4% 142 55.3% 485 46.9% Strongly 105 39.9% 56 37.1% 62 17.1% 43 16.7% 266 25.7% agreeMy family has Strongly 4 1.5% 6 4.0% 12 3.3% 8 3.1% 30 2.9%clear rules about disagreewhat I can and Disagree 19 7.3% 15 10.0% 44 12.1% 49 19.1% 127 12.3%cannot do Neutral 70 26.9% 41 27.3% 90 24.8% 81 31.5% 282 27.4% Agree 93 35.8% 49 32.7% 151 41.6% 81 31.5% 374 36.3% Strongly 74 28.5% 39 26.0% 66 18.2% 38 14.8% 217 21.1% agree Constructive Use of Time A third category of Developmental Assets is Constructive Use of Time. Constructive Use ofTime is the extent the student participates in activities that may provide developmental value such aslessons or extracurricular activities. The underlying premise of this category is that participation inpositive activities will prevent or reduce the likelihood of participating in high-risk activities. As shown in Table 13, over three-fourths of all the students combined indicated participating insome sort of sports activity two or more hours per week. Participation in sports, however, was somewhatdifferent among the grade levels. Of note is the relatively large number of 12th graders (27.7%) whoindicated no participation in sports. Participation in other activities was less frequent. Less than half indicated any participation inschool clubs or organizations, and only slightly more than half indicated participation in clubs andactivities outside of school. This was generally the case regardless of grade level. Page 20 of 45
  21. 21. Table 13. Participation in Activities by Grade Level Grade in School 6th 8th 10th 12th Total Count Column N Count Column N Count Column N Count Column N Count Column N % % % % %Playing in 0 hours 19 7.3% 24 16.2% 60 16.5% 106 41.2% 209 20.4%sports/helping 1 hour 22 8.5% 6 4.1% 20 5.5% 13 5.1% 61 5.9%with sports 2 hours 40 15.4% 12 8.1% 29 8.0% 19 7.4% 100 9.7%teams at 3-5 hours 68 26.3% 30 20.3% 69 19.0% 37 14.4% 204 19.9%school or in 6-10 hours 79 30.5% 41 27.7% 76 20.9% 32 12.5% 228 22.2%community 11 or more hours 31 12.0% 35 23.6% 109 30.0% 50 19.5% 225 21.9%In clubs or 0 hours 151 58.3% 85 57.4% 167 46.1% 115 44.9% 518 50.5%organizations 1 hour 48 18.5% 24 16.2% 87 24.0% 45 17.6% 204 19.9%at school 2 hours 33 12.7% 14 9.5% 49 13.5% 44 17.2% 140 13.7% 3-5 hours 19 7.3% 14 9.5% 27 7.5% 32 12.5% 92 9.0% 6-10 hours 7 2.7% 8 5.4% 16 4.4% 8 3.1% 39 3.8% 11 or more hours 1 0.4% 3 2.0% 16 4.4% 12 4.7% 32 3.1%In clubs or 0 hours 128 50.0% 67 45.3% 154 42.5% 105 41.5% 454 44.6%organizations 1 hour 54 21.1% 23 15.5% 60 16.6% 28 11.1% 165 16.2%outside of 2 hours 41 16.0% 27 18.2% 60 16.6% 45 17.8% 173 17.0%school 3-5 hours 20 7.8% 23 15.5% 58 16.0% 42 16.6% 143 14.0% 6-10 hours 5 2.0% 3 2.0% 20 5.5% 21 8.3% 49 4.8% 11 or more hours 8 3.1% 5 3.4% 10 2.8% 12 4.7% 35 3.4% Additional information was gathered on participation in a athletics or intramural sports (SeeTable 14). As the table indicates, at least three-fourths of the students in all four grades indicatedparticipating in athletics or intramural sports. In addition, most of the participants indicated that it was“Somewhat worthwhile” or “Very worthwhile.” Table 14. Participation in Athletics/Intramural Sports Have you participated in Athletics/Intramural sports? Yes No Grade in School Row N % Count Row N % Count 6th 76.9% 90 23.1% 27 8th 80.2% 85 19.8% 21 10th 80.7% 292 19.3% 70 12th 74.9% 191 25.1% 64 Total 78.3% 658 21.7% 182 If yes, how worthwhile do you think your participation was? Not worthwhile Somewhat worthwhile Very worthwhile Grade in School Row N % Count Row N % Count Row N % Count 6th 3.4% 3 22.7% 20 73.9% 65 8th 12.0% 11 32.6% 30 55.4% 51 10th 9.5% 28 29.7% 88 60.8% 180 12th 7.3% 14 33.0% 63 59.7% 114 Total 8.4% 56 30.1% 201 61.5% 410 The results for Constructive Use of Time are quite positive. The student respondents indicatedactive involvement in a variety of activities in and outside of school. Page 21 of 45
  22. 22. Commitment to Learning A fourth category of Developmental Assets examined through the questionnaire wasCommitment to Learning. This construct encompasses achievement motivation and engagement inlearning-related activities. The three items related to Commitment to Learning are presented in Table 15. Over 80% of thestudents in all four grades indicated either “Strongly disagree” or “Disagree” with the statement, “I don’tcare how well I do in school.” For the statement, “I will do well if I work hard,” over 80% of students inall four grades indicated “Strongly agree” or “Agree.” The third item in Table 15, “I usually expect to succeed in things I do,” also was positive,although somewhat less so than the other two items. In this case, about 60% of the students in the fourgrades indicated positive responses. Less than 10% of the students in each grade level indicateddisagreement with the statement. Although the ratings are lower than the other two items, they mayreflect a desirable realistic expectation of success. Taken together, these items suggest high levels of achievement motivation among the studentrespondents. In other words, there is a desire to do well, there is the belief that hard work will lead topositive results, and there is a realistic expectation of success. Table 15. Commitment to School and Work Effort Grade in School 6th 8th 10th 12th Total Count Column Count Column Count Column Count Column N Count Column N N% N% N% % %I dont care Strongly 192 73.3% 92 61.3% 229 63.1% 147 57.2% 660 64.0%how well I do disagreein school Disagree 47 17.9% 33 22.0% 95 26.2% 75 29.2% 250 24.2% Neutral 12 4.6% 18 12.0% 26 7.2% 20 7.8% 76 7.4% Agree 7 2.7% 4 2.7% 8 2.2% 11 4.3% 30 2.9% Strongly 4 1.5% 3 2.0% 5 1.4% 4 1.6% 16 1.6% agreeI will do well Strongly 2 0.8% 5 3.4% 4 1.1% 3 1.2% 14 1.4%if I work hard disagree Disagree 8 3.3% 4 2.8% 12 3.3% 9 3.5% 33 3.3% Neutral 17 6.9% 12 8.3% 37 10.2% 18 7.1% 84 8.3% Agree 66 26.9% 50 34.5% 145 39.9% 90 35.3% 351 34.8% Strongly 152 62.0% 74 51.0% 165 45.5% 135 52.9% 526 52.2% agreeI usually Strongly 1 0.4% 4 2.8% 9 2.5% 4 1.6% 18 1.8%expect to disagreesucceed in Disagree 20 8.4% 7 4.9% 25 6.9% 19 7.5% 71 7.1%things I do Neutral 76 32.1% 40 28.2% 97 26.9% 53 20.8% 266 26.7% Agree 87 36.7% 53 37.3% 153 42.4% 131 51.4% 424 42.6% Strongly 53 22.4% 38 26.8% 77 21.3% 48 18.8% 216 21.7% agree Page 22 of 45
  23. 23. Two additional items were included on the survey to assess commitment to learning (See Table16). The two items examine the importance students place on performing well. Over 80% of the studentsin all four grades noted it was either “Quite important” or “Extremely important” to get good grades andto do at least one thing well. Table 16. Importance of Grades and Activities Grade in School 6th 8th 10th 12th Total Count Column Count Column Count Column Count Column Count Column N% N% N% N% N%How import to get Not important 3 1.4% 6 4.3% 5 1.4% 8 3.1% 22 2.3%good grades? Somewhat 7 3.2% 4 2.9% 19 5.3% 15 5.9% 45 4.6% important Not sure 12 5.6% 7 5.0% 14 3.9% 22 8.6% 55 5.7% Quite important 56 25.9% 56 40.3% 123 34.1% 119 46.7% 354 36.5% Extremely 138 63.9% 66 47.5% 200 55.4% 91 35.7% 495 51.0% importantHow important to Not important 5 2.3% 7 5.0% 6 1.7% 15 5.9% 33 3.4%be good at least Somewhatone thing? 11 5.1% 7 5.0% 32 8.8% 30 11.8% 80 8.2% important Not sure 35 16.2% 12 8.6% 40 11.0% 43 16.9% 130 13.4% Quite important 61 28.2% 60 43.2% 131 36.2% 93 36.5% 345 35.5% Extremely 104 48.1% 53 38.1% 153 42.3% 74 29.0% 384 39.5% important Overall, the results on the survey items examining Commitment to Learning were consistentlypositive. Student responses suggest that the majority of students are motivated and perceive hard work asleading to success. They also view success outcomes, including good grades and doing at least one thingwell, as important. Positive Identity Positive Identity is the degree to which the student has high self-esteem and a sense of purpose inlife. While a number of the survey items presented under the other Developmental Asset categories mayalso apply here, the items discussed in this section relate specifically to emotional well being. The first item in Table 17, “I feel good about myself,” is a typical measure of self-esteem. Aboutthree-fourths of the students in 6th, 8th, and 12th grade indicated they “Agree” or “Strongly agree” with thestatement. Students in 10th grade were slightly less positive, with about 60% noting “Agree” or “Stronglyagree” with the item. Just as importantly, less than 15% of the students in any of the grade levelsindicated “Disagree” or “Strongly disagree” with the statement. Table 17. Self Esteem and Emotional Wellbeing Grade in School 6th 8th 10th 12th Total Count Column Count Column Count Column Count Column Count Column N% N% N% N% N%I feel good Strongly disagree 5 1.9% 5 3.4% 16 4.4% 11 4.3% 37 3.6%about myself Disagree 9 3.4% 4 2.7% 30 8.3% 15 5.9% 58 5.6% Neutral 33 12.6% 25 16.8% 92 25.3% 47 18.4% 197 19.1% Agree 96 36.8% 64 43.0% 168 46.3% 124 48.4% 452 43.9% Strongly agree 118 45.2% 51 34.2% 57 15.7% 59 23.0% 285 27.7% Page 23 of 45
  24. 24. Table 17. Self Esteem and Emotional Wellbeing Grade in School 6th 8th 10th 12th Total Count Column Count Column Count Column Count Column Count Column N% N% N% N% N%I feel sad a Strongly disagree 115 44.2% 49 32.9% 92 25.4% 56 22.0% 312 30.4%lot of the Disagree 76 29.2% 49 32.9% 122 33.7% 111 43.5% 358 34.9%time Neutral 47 18.1% 35 23.5% 84 23.2% 51 20.0% 217 21.2% Agree 12 4.6% 9 6.0% 48 13.3% 26 10.2% 95 9.3% Strongly agree 10 3.8% 7 4.7% 16 4.4% 11 4.3% 44 4.3%I often feel Strongly disagree 110 44.2% 39 26.7% 68 18.8% 43 16.9% 260 25.7%lonely Disagree 66 26.5% 40 27.4% 106 29.3% 93 36.5% 305 30.1% Neutral 41 16.5% 34 23.3% 81 22.4% 66 25.9% 222 21.9% Agree 23 9.2% 19 13.0% 76 21.0% 39 15.3% 157 15.5% Strongly agree 9 3.6% 14 9.6% 31 8.6% 14 5.5% 68 6.7%I dont have Strongly disagree 19 7.6% 12 8.2% 5 1.4% 19 7.5% 55 5.4%enough time Disagree 53 21.2% 14 9.6% 36 9.9% 37 14.5% 140 13.8%to do Neutral 86 34.4% 32 21.9% 71 19.6% 39 15.3% 228 22.5%everything I Agree 65 26.0% 51 34.9% 130 35.8% 103 40.4% 349 34.4%need to do Strongly agree 27 10.8% 37 25.3% 121 33.3% 57 22.4% 242 23.9% The next two items in Table 17, “I feel sad a lot of the time” and “I often feel lonely,” are itemscommonly used to assess the degree to which someone may be experiencing some level of depression. Inthese two items, the proportion of students who “Agree” or “Strongly agree” is the group who may havesome risk of emotional difficulty. The proportion of students who indicated “Agree” or “Strongly agree” with the statement, “I feelsad a lot of the time,” was quite low for all for grade levels, although it did reach 17.7% for 10 th graders.The proportion of students who noted “Agree” or “Strongly agree” with the statement, “I often feellonely,” was somewhat higher and reached 29% for 10th graders. 11 The last item in Table 17, “I dont have enough time to do everything I need to do,” was includedas an indicator of the stress level students may be feeling. As can be seen in the table, the proportion ofstudents indicating “Agree” or “Strongly agree” with this item jumps from 37% among 6th graders to 60%or greater among 8th, 10th, and 12th graders. Further statistical analyses indicated a statistically significant correlation (Tau-b = .227, p < .01)between the item, “I dont have enough time to do everything I need to do” and “My parents put too muchpressure on me to do well.” These two items also correlated with the item, “I feel sad a lot of the time”(Tau-b = .234 and .156 respectively, p < .01). In other words, for a small segment of students, there is arelationship between the perception of stress and pressure and the perceived level of sadness. Two additional questions were asked as indicators of self-esteem, satisfaction with current weightand the importance of being popular. Table 18 provides the breakdown of the ratings by grade andgender. The table reveals some important differences both by gender and grade. As can be seen, bothgenders have fairly positive views of their weight in 6th and 8th grades, but there is a decline in thesatisfaction with weight in the 10th and 12th grades. This is especially true for female students, who have11 2011 data for New Jersey indicated 26% of adolescents surveyed indicated they felt sad or hopeless almost everyday for 2 or more weeks in a row so that they stopped doing some usual activities during the 12 months before thesurvey. By this standard, the proportion are on the low side of what would be expected. Source: National Centerfor Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Division for Adolescent and School Health. Page 24 of 45
  25. 25. statistically significant lower levels of satisfaction with their weight than male students in both grades(Chi-square = 60.06 for 10th grade, 34.21 for 12th grade, p < .01). Table 18. Level of Satisfaction with Weight Grade in School 6th 8th 10th 12th Total Column Column Column Column Column Count N % Count N % Count N % Count N % Count N % Male Strongly disagree 1 0.8% 5 6.9% 9 4.9% 8 7.4% 23 4.8% Disagree 9 7.6% 9 12.5% 23 12.6% 10 9.3% 51 10.6% I am satisfied Neutral 22 18.5% 14 19.4% 25 13.7% 11 10.2% 72 15.0% with my current Agree 42 35.3% 19 26.4% 63 34.6% 43 39.8% 167 34.7% weight Strongly agree 45 37.8% 25 34.7% 62 34.1% 36 33.3% 168 34.9% Female Strongly disagree 4 3.1% 6 7.8% 26 14.4% 24 16.3% 60 11.2% Disagree 14 10.7% 20 26.0% 54 30.0% 41 27.9% 129 24.1% I am satisfied Neutral 24 18.3% 19 24.7% 42 23.3% 24 16.3% 109 20.4% with my current Agree 33 25.2% 14 18.2% 45 25.0% 42 28.6% 134 25.0% weight Strongly agree 56 42.7% 18 23.4% 13 7.2% 16 10.9% 103 19.3% The results of the ratings of the importance of being popular are presented in Table 19. Asshown, there is no clear pattern to the results. Roughly, a quarter of the students in all four grade levelsindicated popularity was not important. However, nearly an equal proportion indicated popularity waseither “Quite important” or “Extremely important.” Table 19. Importance of Popularity by Grade Level Grade in School 6th 8th 10th 12th Total Count Column Count Column Count Column Count Column Count Column N% N% N% N% N%How important to Not important 79 36.4% 34 24.5% 93 25.7% 79 31.0% 285 29.3%be popular? Somewhat 36 16.6% 27 19.4% 92 25.4% 63 24.7% 218 22.4% important Not sure 57 26.3% 40 28.8% 80 22.1% 64 25.1% 241 24.8% Quite important 34 15.7% 24 17.3% 85 23.5% 40 15.7% 183 18.8% Extremely 11 5.1% 14 10.1% 12 3.3% 9 3.5% 46 4.7% important In summary, a majority of student respondents suggest a high degree of Positive Identity. Mostof the students reported positive self-esteem, and did not report issues of loneliness or sadness. Inaddition, most students did not give much importance to popularity, an indirect indication of self-confidence. Although the results suggest most students have a high degree of Positive Identity, the resultsalso reveal a segment of students who are having some emotional difficulties, including dissatisfactionwith weight among female students. Social Competencies Social competencies are the skills required to effectively make positive choices, resist negativeinfluences, and build healthy relationships. One set of questions was included to examine the extent to which students thought of themselvesas able to think through their actions and resist pressure from other students. The results, in Table 20,suggest that most students tended to see themselves as having personal limits. Nearly 84% of the 6thgraders responded that taking someone up on a dangerous dare was either “Not at all like me” or “A little Page 25 of 45
  26. 26. like me.” This dropped to about 60% for 8th, 9th, and 10th graders. Between70% and 80% of students inall four grades indicated knowing when to say “No” to something wrong or dangerous was either, “Quitelike me” or “Very much like me.” As the table shows, however, the results on the survey item, “I think through the possible goodand bad choices before decisions were less positive. About 30% of 6th graders, 19% of 8th graders, 22%of 10th graders, and 20% of 12th graders indicated “Not at all like me” or “A little like me” to the item.This suggest a small, but meaningful, segment of students may not be using problem solving skillseffectively. Table 20. Indicators of Resistance by Grade Level Grade in School 6th 8th 10th 12th Total Count Column Count Column Count Column Count Column Count Column N% N% N% N% N%I will take Not at all like 74 56.9% 53 50.0% 108 29.8% 104 40.8% 339 39.7%someone up on a medare even if its A little like 35 26.9% 13 12.3% 112 30.9% 61 23.9% 221 25.9%dangerous or mewrong Somewhat 16 12.3% 24 22.6% 84 23.2% 53 20.8% 177 20.8% like me Quite like me 3 2.3% 12 11.3% 39 10.8% 25 9.8% 79 9.3% Very much 2 1.5% 4 3.8% 19 5.2% 12 4.7% 37 4.3% like meI know how to say Not at all like 9 7.2% 11 10.5% 6 1.7% 12 4.7% 38 4.5%"no" when mesomeone wants A little like 4 3.2% 6 5.7% 25 6.9% 16 6.3% 51 6.0%me to do thing I meknow are Somewhat 10 8.0% 13 12.4% 60 16.6% 22 8.7% 105 12.4%wrong/dangerous like me Quite like me 25 20.0% 28 26.7% 141 39.1% 109 42.9% 303 35.9% Very much 77 61.6% 47 44.8% 129 35.7% 95 37.4% 348 41.2% like meI think through Not at all like 17 13.4% 5 4.7% 19 5.2% 13 5.1% 54 6.4%the possible good meand bad choices A little like 21 16.5% 16 15.1% 59 16.3% 38 14.9% 134 15.8%before decisions me Somewhat 33 26.0% 21 19.8% 113 31.2% 67 26.3% 234 27.5% like me Quite like me 35 27.6% 34 32.1% 123 34.0% 92 36.1% 284 33.4% Very much 21 16.5% 30 28.3% 48 13.3% 45 17.6% 144 16.9% like me Table 21 presents two additional questions related to students’ resistance to inappropriatebehavior. The first, “I am not interested in anything unless it is exciting,” is one way of examiningstudents’ interest in thrill seeking. There was quite a bit of variation from grade-to-grade, with about 26%of 6th graders, 41% of 8th graders, 34% of 10th graders, and 28% of 12th graders indicating “Agree” or“Strongly agree” for the item. The responses to the item, “I often act without stopping to think,” weresimilar, ranging from 25% to 34% of students indicating “Agree” or “Strongly agree.” On the other endof both scales, less the 10% of the respondents indicated “Strongly disagree” to either item. In short, asmight be expected of a group of young people, a considerable segment acknowledges some likelihood ofacting on impulse. Page 26 of 45
  27. 27. Table 21. Impulsivity-Related Items Grade in School 6th 8th 10th 12th Total Count Column Count Column Count Column Count Column Count Column N% N% N% N% N%I am not Strongly disagree 33 12.7% 12 8.0% 9 2.5% 17 6.6% 71 6.9%interested in Disagree 81 31.2% 25 16.7% 103 28.5% 79 30.7% 288 28.0%anything Neutral 78 30.0% 51 34.0% 126 34.8% 88 34.2% 343 33.3%unless it is Agree 36 13.8% 37 24.7% 85 23.5% 48 18.7% 206 20.0%exciting Strongly agree 32 12.3% 25 16.7% 39 10.8% 25 9.7% 121 11.8%I often act Strongly disagree 15 6.4% 7 4.9% 14 3.9% 20 7.8% 56 5.6%without Disagree 59 25.0% 33 23.2% 105 28.9% 74 29.0% 271 27.2%stopping to Neutral 104 44.1% 53 37.3% 130 35.8% 85 33.3% 372 37.3%think Agree 34 14.4% 32 22.5% 87 24.0% 57 22.4% 210 21.1% Strongly agree 24 10.2% 17 12.0% 27 7.4% 19 7.5% 87 8.7% A second set of questions focused on students’ perceptions of their relationship to other people(See Table 22). Between 75% and 80% of the students in the four grade levels noted that the statement,“I care about other people’s feelings,” was either “Quite like me” or “Very much like me.” In addition,about 80% of the students in the four grades responded that helping other people was either “Quiteimportant” or “Extremely important.” The students’ views towards getting to know people of different races varied quite a bit amongthe different grades. Over 60% of the 6th graders responded that it was “Quite important” or “Extremelyimportant” to get to know people of different ethnic groups. The responses for the other grades weresomewhat lower; 49% for 6th grade, 42% for 10th, and 50% for 12th. Table 22. Relationships to Other People Grade in School 6th 8th 10th 12th Total Count Column Count Column Count Column Count Column Count Column N% N% N% N% N%I care about Not at all like me 2 1.5% 4 3.7% 6 1.7% 9 3.5% 21 2.5%other A little like me 5 3.8% 1 0.9% 19 5.2% 12 4.7% 37 4.3%peoples Somewhat like me 13 10.0% 14 13.1% 61 16.9% 30 11.8% 118 13.8%feelings Quite like me 54 41.5% 43 40.2% 176 48.6% 118 46.3% 391 45.8% Very much like me 56 43.1% 45 42.1% 100 27.6% 86 33.7% 287 33.6%How Not important 4 1.8% 2 1.4% 8 2.2% 9 3.5% 23 2.3%important to Somewhat 6 2.7% 10 7.2% 36 9.9% 17 6.7% 69 7.0%help other importantpeople? Not sure 18 8.0% 10 7.2% 26 7.2% 15 5.9% 69 7.0% Quite important 121 53.5% 73 52.9% 213 58.8% 134 52.5% 541 55.1% Extremely 77 34.1% 43 31.2% 79 21.8% 80 31.4% 279 28.4% importantHow Not important 9 4.1% 9 6.5% 38 10.5% 23 9.0% 79 8.1%important to Somewhat 17 7.7% 17 12.2% 65 18.0% 39 15.3% 138 14.1%get to know importantpeople of Not sure 59 26.7% 45 32.4% 108 29.8% 66 25.9% 278 28.5%different Quite important 91 41.2% 38 27.3% 120 33.1% 95 37.3% 344 35.2%ethnic Extremely 45 20.4% 30 21.6% 31 8.6% 32 12.5% 138 14.1%groups? important Page 27 of 45

×