Contemporary Psychology, Vol. 17, No. 2, 2014, 151-166

Preliminary Communication

Development and Validation of Croatian School Climate Survey for Students

Tena Velki - Faculty of Education, Josip Juraj Strossmayer University of Osijek, Osijek
Gordana Kuterovac Jagodić - Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb, Zagreb
Ana Antunović - III Gymnasium Osijek, Osijek

Fulltext (croatian, pages 151-166).pdf

School climate is the important factor of children’s cognitive, social and emotional development. Due to numerous cultural specificities and peculiarities of each school system, it is unjustified for an assessment of school climate to use instruments developed abroad without revision. The aim of this study was to adapt and validate a questionnaire which would measure school climate from the students’ perspective and would be suitable for use in Croatian schools. American School Climate Survey Version 2.0. (Perkins, 2006) served as a starting point in the development and validation of Croatian School Climate Survey for students (HUŠK-U). The validation was conducted on three different samples of primary school students. The first sample, on which the first version of HUŠK-U was tested, consisted of 320 5th to 8th grade primary school students from two towns in the Croatian county of Slavonia. Validation was conducted on the second sample, which consisted of 880 5th to 8th grade primary school students from urban schools in the city of Osijek. The last sample of 293 5th to 8th grade primary school students from the county of Baranja was used for validation of rural schools. By testing construct validity, we confirmed the hypothesized one factor structure in each of the three samples. Satisfactory sensitivity and high internal consistency of the questionnaire (α = 0.88-0.92) were found. In support of the validity of HUŠK-U we found statistically significant correlations with the following external measures: academic achievement, self-evaluation of feeling of safety in the school environment and self-report of bullying and victimization by peers. In conclusion, our results demonstrate that the HUŠK-U is a valid and reliable instrument that can be used with various samples of older primary school children and in different research areas which study the construct of school climate or are in need of operationalization of that construct.

school climate, primary school students, validation

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