Problem Statement: In adolescence period school plays an important role in socialization and students who have misconduct at school are at risk for drop-out and low academic achievement. It is important to understand reasons of misconduct at school and take preventive measurements.
Purpose of Study: The aim of this study is to compare the problem solving skills and self-image of the high school students who were imposed disciplinary penalty at school with the ones who were not.
Methods: The research was conducted at 6 different high schools in TRNC. 102 students that took disciplinary penalty at these schools were chosen randomly. Another 102 students who were not given disciplinary punishment, but who had similar family backgrounds were taken as the control group. The questionnaire applied contained questions about socio-demographic characteristics of the students and ‘Problem Solving Inventory-PSI’ and ‘Offer Self – Image Questionnaire-OSIQ’.
Findings and Results:When we compared the means of PSI-total and OSIQ-total scores of the two groups, no significant difference was found. ‘OSIQ-family functioning’, ‘OSIQ-self reliance’ and ‘OSIQ-ethical values’ subscale scores were higher among the students who had suspension from school then the students in the control group. The students who had disciplinary punishment had lower academic success, had more class repetition at school and the mean of their age was higher. There were significantly more male students at the discipline penalty group. Their parents’ education level was higher than those in the control group. There were total of 2327 students registered at 4 of the schools we made the investigation and 629 (27%) of them were citizens of Turkey. But among the 255 students that had disciplinary penalty, 152 (59.6%) were citizens of Turkey. These numbers show the negative effects of migration on adaptation and conduct problems.
Conclusions and Recommendations:Our study shows that male students who have low academic success and parents with high education tend to get more disciplinary penalty. How these students perceive their problem-solving ability and self-esteem levels were found to be similar to other students.For these students misconduct may be a way to assert themselves and they may regard it as a healthy way. High educated parents may be more turned toward themselves and their support and direct control over their children may be less. Longitudinal studies and researches evaluating effects of different variables may contribute to a better understanding of misconduct.
Keywords: discipline, high school, self-esteem, problem solving