Impact of exposure to violence in school on child and adolescent mental health and behavior

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Kelly L. Wester, Associate Professor (Creator)
Institution
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/

Abstract: Exposure to violence at school remains a significant problem for children and adolescents. This study examined the relationship between exposure to violence at school and child reports of psychological trauma symptoms and violent behavior. The sample consisted of children in grades 3 through 12 in 17 public schools from two different states. Rates of witnessing violence ranged from 56% of elementary-school students witnessing someone else being beaten up to 87% of students witnessing someone else being hit, slapped, or punched at school in the past year. Nearly half (44 %) of middle-school youth were threatened at school. After accounting for demographic effects, witnessing violence at school accounted for more variance than being victimized by violence at school in predicting both psychological trauma symptoms and violent behavior. Students who were exposed to high levels of violence at school also were significantly more likely to experience clinical levels of trauma symptoms than students who were exposed to low levels of violence at school. The association between exposure to violence at school and child well being are discussed.

Additional Information

Publication
Journal of Community Psychology, 32, 559-573
Language: English
Date: 2004
Keywords
Exposure to violence, School violence, Psychological trauma, Violent behavior