Measuring school climate: Factor analysis and relations to emotional problems, conduct problems, and victimization in middle school students.


School climate is a complex and multifaceted construct, and there are varying perspectives regarding the precise factors that comprise this construct. The two aims of this study were to examine the empirical structure of an existing school climate measure and to test the relations between specific school climate factors and emotional problems, conduct problems, and peer victimization (i.e., bullying). Using a sample of 2,108 middle school grade students (grades 6-8) from ten schools randomly split into two analytic samples, three factors (Authoritative Structure, Student Order, and Student Support) emerged in exploratory factor analyses and were cross-validated using confirmatory factor analysis. Using the combined sample, student perceptions of classroom orderliness and the authoritative actions of teachers and school staff were each uniquely and inversely related to emotional and conduct problems as well as victimization. Potential theoretical and clinical implications for school-based interventions targeting school climate and related outcomes in middle school are discussed.