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Individual, Institutional, and Community Sources of School Violence: A Meta-Analysis

NCJ Number
Date Published
May 2019
63 pages
Jillian J. Turanovic; Travis C. Pratt; Teresa C. Kulig; Francis T. Cullen
This report presents the findings and methodology of a meta-analysis of the empirical literature on school violence, so as to determine the key factors that increase the risk for school violence, with attention to individual, school, and community factors.
The analyses were drawn from 8,551 effect sizes drawn from 693 studies of school violence. A total of 31 predictors of school violence were identified at the individual, institutional, and community levels. Separate analyses focused on the major predictors of any victimization at school, bullying victimization, violence victimization, any aggressive/delinquent behavior at school, bullying perpetration, violent offending, and bringing a weapon to school. The studies reviewed indicate that the strongest and most consistent risk factors for various forms of aggression/delinquency at school were antisocial behaviors, deviant peers, victimization, peer rejection, and antisocial attitudes. Risks for victimization at school included prior victimization, low social competence, peer rejection, violent school context, and negative school climate. Students with minority sexual orientations and those with disabilities were at high risk of being victimized at school. Based on the findings from the meta-analysis, this report recommends that policies and programs intended to reduce aggressive/delinquent behavior at school target problematic cognitions/beliefs among students; deviant peer influences; and other high-risk, antisocial behaviors. Regarding the reduction of risks for victimization at school, school staff should be trained to identify vulnerable students and assist them in reducing the risks that peers at school will single them out for abusive and violent aggression. In addition, the meta-analysis found that traditional target-hardening approaches in preventing and responding to school violence, including having a police presence in schools and formal security procedures, are sufficiently effective only as one part of a comprehensive approach to guide student behaviors toward one another. 18 tables, 35 references, and a listing of the studies included in the meta-analysis

Date Created: October 28, 2019