Integrating Policy into School Safety Theory and Research

Ron Avi Astor, Rami Benbenishty

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial

1 Scopus citations


Multiple fields including social work, public health, psychology, and education have been researching school safety issues for the past 40 years. Findings from research and intervention have been a driving force in school safety policy change. Likewise, policy and funding patterns created have dramatically altered how and what school safety researchers study. Yet school safety policy has not been the focus of empirical studies in social work or other research fields as either independent or dependent variables. Based on prior work and current school safety policy issues, the authors created a new theoretical ecological model to generate a conceptual policy-focused model of school safety. They identified thematic, conceptual, methodological, and analytic gaps in the school safety literature using the new model as a guide. Examples from policy and empirical work are given to elucidate the conceptual model. Suggestions are made for researchers and universities to close the gap between school safety research and policy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)715-727
Number of pages13
JournalResearch on Social Work Practice
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 2023
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2022.


  • safety research
  • school climate
  • school safety policy
  • social–emotional learning
  • zero tolerance


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