School Violence in Context: Culture, Neighborhood, Family, School, and Gender

By Rami Benbenishty; Ron Avi Astor | Go to book overview

Chapter 3
Victimization Types

In this chapter, we explore three types of school-based victimization: physical victimization, victimization by threats, and verbal-social forms of victimization (such as exclusion). Sexual harassment is presented in Chapter 5. The conceptualization of sexual harassment has differed from other forms of school violence; empirically, however, it was not clear whether this difference actually exists. When we explored this question empirically, we found that sexual harassment indeed does have very different patterns from the forms of violence presented in this chapter. Consequently, to address fully the complexity of sexual harassment, those results are presented separately.

Most international surveys report events occurring during the prior 12 months. We believe that some of these events are so common that children cannot recall an entire year’s worth of events; therefore, in an effort to increase both the meaning and the interpretability of the findings, we asked students to recall only events that happened in the prior month. We also present data from a large-scale study conducted in several central and southern counties in California by Furlong and associates (1998) during a similar period. This study was chosen because of the similarity in items used to describe victimization, allowing us to compare findings from both studies and to situate the findings from Israel.

First, we describe the frequency of the various victimization types. We examine how each of these types is associated with context factors such as gender, ethnic/ cultural group, age/grade, and school level. This initial exploration prepares the groundwork for examinations of more complex issues, such as the interplay of several context variables (e.g., gender and ethnicity) in each type of school victimization. Our aim is to identify what are common and what are unique aspects of each type of victimization.

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