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

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

Chapter 9
Differences in Victimization between Schools

In the previous chapter, we explored the relationships between student-perceived school variables and victimization types. We looked at these within-school dynamics across all schools in Israel, and our findings generalized to the entire student population in Israel. The sets of analyses presented in Chapter 8 are important because they highlight the theoretical patterns between school dynamics and how they contribute to different victimization types. However, schools across an entire country are likely to vary in levels of victimization, which leads us to shift our attention to a different set of questions. Are there schools that have higher rates of victimization than other schools? Do schools differ on some types of victimization and not others? If so, to what degree?

Questions focusing on differences between schools are important for policy and theory questions. If there are only a few schools that have very severe forms of victimization (such as gun use), it would make sense to focus intervention efforts on those schools. Also, perhaps schools with different forms of victimization require a different set of conceptual intervention strategies. In this chapter we ask questions about the school as a unit. Most of the literature in this area has neglected this perspective and focused only on student-level views of school victimization, which is surprising because most of the school intervention literature focuses on school-level programs. To understand the dynamics of school victimization, assess the need for schoolwide interventions, and examine the outcomes of such programs, it is essential to explore victimization from a school unit perspective. These kinds of questions explore the variation between schools on specific forms of victimization.

Looking at school victimization by schools as a unit will provide another contextual layer of detailed explication to our dependent variable, victimization. Knowing which kinds of victimization are common across all schools and which are concentrated in a small number of schools is an essential step before exploring the

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