The impact of school climate in social-normative expectations in low and high SES schools

Esha Vaid, Tzivia Jofen, Danielle Ryan Hatchimonji, Sarah L. DeMarchena, Gwyne White, Maurice J. Elias

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


This study examined the associations among race/ethnicity, school climate, and social-normative expectations (expectations about peers' future achievement) in high and low socioeconomic status (SES) schools, with a particular focus on school climate as a process that might influence social-normative expectations. Results showed that more positive perceptions of school climate were significantly associated with higher levels of social-normative expectations in both low and high SES settings. Additionally, identifying as Black was negatively associated with social-normative expectations in both high and low SES schools. School climate significantly moderated the negative relationship between race and social-normative expectations in high SES schools; however, there was no moderation in low SES schools. In both high and low SES schools, school climate was a robust predictor of social-normative expectations, highlighting the importance of social-normative expectations as a metric of school climate improvement in both high and low SES schools. In conclusion, policies related to school culture and climate, school improvement, and turnaround should explicitly focus on the connection of racial and ethnic equity, specifically for Black and Latinx students, to reflect the range and reality of students' social-normative expectations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)219-233
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Community Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology


  • adolescents
  • peer expectations
  • peer norms
  • school climate


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