Journal of Education & Social Policy

ISSN 2375-0782 (Print) 2375-0790 (Online)

Ethnicity, Gender Differences and Authority-Exercising Styles in Juvenile Correctional Institutions
Yaakov Reuven, Sarah Ben-David

Abstract
Culture-, ethnicity- and gender-based variance plays major role in perceptions and positions regarding the education, treatment and shaping of behavior of deviant juveniles. This research examined variables that predict the way Educational Instructors (EI) will perceive the inmates under their care, and the effect that this perception will have on the authority-exercising styles during disciplinary-encounters. Results showed that ethnicity and gender of the EI contributed to their inmates’ perception and authority-exercising style: Arab EI have a higher tendency for a blaming perception of inmates and for using power assertion and withdrawal styles in disciplinary-encounters. Male EI responded more with withdrawal-type intervention and less by providing induction, though no gender differences were found in perception of inmates. The findings highlight the importance of and need for an EI support system that focuses on cultural sensitivity, and for a balanced representation of male and female figures in these institutions.

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