Year of Publication

2019

Season of Publication

Summer

Paper Type

Master's Thesis

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Psychology

NACO controlled Corporate Body

University of North Florida. Department of Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Angela Mann

Second Advisor

Dr. Hope Wilson

Department Chair

Dr. Lori Lange

College Dean

Dr. George Rainbolt

Abstract

The school resource officer (SRO) program is a program developed in the United States with the goal of making schools a safer environment for students across all grades (Cray & Weiler, 2011). To date, the majority of research surrounding SRO programs focuses on recommended characteristics and qualities of SROs, as well as appropriate utilization of SROs (Weiler & Cray, 2011). However, relatively little is known about the effect of increased presence of SRO’s in the school setting. With SRO’s being tasked with disciplinarian roles Barnes (2016), it would be important to look at the effect of SRO’s on school discipline variables such as out-of-school suspension (OSS). With OSS being linked to increased risk for arrest (Theriot, 2009), it would be important to analyze the effect of these variables on each other. Taking it one step further, minority populations are typically disciplined at a higher rate than their white peers (Okonofua & Eberhardt, 2015). The purpose of this study is to examine the increased presence of SRO’s, OSS and minority and their effect on school-based arrest. The results support previous research in finding that OSS and number of SRO’s employed were significant predictors of school-based arrest. However, percentage of minority population was not found to be a predictor of school-based arrest. More research is needed to understand the extent of the relationship between OSS, SRO’s, and school-based arrests and how it might be possible to reduce this connection.

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