School climate, observed risky behaviors, and victimization as predictors of high school students' fear and judgments of school violence as a problem

Ron Avi Astor, Rami Benbenishty, Anat Zeira, Amiram Vinokur

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

127 Scopus citations

Abstract

The primary aim of this study is to explore how school-related variables predict high school students' subjective judgements of school violence. Using a nationally representative sample (Israel) of 3,518 high school-aged youth, this study tested the hypotheses that (a) students' personal fear of attending school due to violence and (b) students' assessment of a school violence problem are best understood as separate conceptual constructs. The findings support the proposition that student fear of attending school and assessments of school violence as a problem are influenced by different types of school-related variables. Student fear of attending school due to violence was directly related to experiences of personal victimization by students and school staff. In contrast with fear, students' judgements of their schools' overall violence problem were directly associated with the variables of school climate, observed risk behaviors, and personal victimization. Implications for policy, theory, and future research are highlighted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)716-736
Number of pages21
JournalHealth Education and Behavior
Volume29
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2002
Externally publishedYes

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