U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

An exploratory study of violence and aggression against teachers in middle and high schools: Prevalence, predictors, and negative consequences

NCJ Number
Date Published
This study used a representative sample of 1,628 teachers in the southwest region of the United States to examine the prevalence of violence and aggression against teachers.
Limited empirical findings suggest that teacher victimization at school is prevalent, with detrimental negative impacts on victimized teachers. Given the scarce body of literature on teacher victimization, further research is necessary to investigate its extent, predictors, and negative consequences. The data used for this study were obtained from the first wave of an ongoing longitudinal research project that examined violence against teachers and its negative consequences for victims in a large urban county in the southwest region of the United States, where a majority of residents in the city and adjacent areas are Hispanic. To collect a representative sample of teachers in the region, a stratified multi-stage cluster sample design was used. Overall, 7,083 middle and high school teachers in the region received an invitation letter with a personalized link to the web-based self-report survey. Of the 3,102 teachers who opened the invitation email, 1,948 clicked the individualized link to the web-based survey and agreed to participate in the survey. Ultimately, 1,628 teachers from 130 middle and high schools in the 14 school districts completed the wave I survey. The survey indicates a high prevalence of violence and aggression directed against teachers. The research also found that teachers' uncertain and helping/friendly behaviors toward students were significantly related to various types of teacher victimization. Experiences that involved the five victimization types (theft/property damage, physical assault, verbal abuse, sexual harassment, and noncontact aggression) correlated with teachers' self-reported job performance, student trust, safety at school, and thoughts about quitting. Directions for future research and policy implications are considered in the context of these findings. 3 figures, 2 tables, and 35 references
Date Created: January 28, 2021