THE MEASUREMENT OF SCHOOL CLIMATE USING SURVEYS: EXPLORING UNIT OF ANALYSIS
Burkhouse, Katie Lynn Sutton
Gottfredson, Gary D
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School climate researchers have used different units of analysis when assessing school climate features. Overall, there is little research available to understand how different levels of analysis, individual or aggregated, influence the psychometric properties of a survey instrument. The purpose of the current research was to explore the use of different unit of analysis choices in instrument development. Further, the present study sought to replicate findings that the wording of survey instruments may influence the conceptualization of school climate by survey informants. Results indicate that unit of analysis affects on the factor structure, but that there is some overlap in the factors that emerge. Further, the present research confirmed past findings that the wording of climate items appears to affect the perception of items by respondents. Limitations and future directions are discussed. Unit of analysis remains an important theoretical and methodological concept in school climate research.