Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


King, Sanna

Committee Member

May, David

Committee Member

Hagerman, Margaret

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access



Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)


College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Sociology


While a large body of literature exists related to discrimination in schools and the school-to-prison pipeline, few studies connect this literature to perceptions of school climate. The purpose of this study is to examine middle and high school students’ perceptions of school climate using an intersectional theoretical framework. Participants include 812 middle and high school students across the United States. Exploratory principal axis factor analysis included four subscales: perceptions of attachment to school staff, perceptions of school environment, perceptions of school belonging, and perceptions of effective school staff. Linear regressions for each subscale were performed, and gender, racial, sexuality, and ability comparisons were established. Findings suggest that students diagnosed by a mental health professional, students placed in special education, and students that have been suspended and or expelled are more likely to perceive their school climate as unfavorable across the school climate subscales and school-to-prison pipeline demographic variables.