Comparative Analysis of the Perception of School Violence in Teachers, Pupils, and Families

By Linares, José Jesús Gázquez; Díaz, Adolfo Javier Cangas et al. | The Spanish Journal of Psychology, July 1, 2008 | Go to article overview

Comparative Analysis of the Perception of School Violence in Teachers, Pupils, and Families


Linares, José Jesús Gázquez, Díaz, Adolfo Javier Cangas, Fuentes, María del Carmen Pérez, Acién, Francisca Lucas, The Spanish Journal of Psychology


The main aim of the present study is to analyze the opinion of pupils, families and teachers in four European countries (Spain, Hungary, Austria and the Czech Republic) on the prevalence of violent behavior and other problematic aspects related to coexistence in schools, and on the way in which individuals are personally affected by them. For this purpose, a single instrument was used. From the results obtained it emerges, first of all, that there are significant differences depending on who is analyzing the school problems. Generally, families perceive the problems analyzed as less common and feel less affected by them personally. Hungary was considered to be the country with the lowest levels of school violence. Pupils indicate their concern about the high levels of lack of motivation or boredom, whilst teachers are more preoccupied about the serious problems of coexistence, due in particular to the presence or use of weapons and drugs and to intercultural conflicts.

Keywords: bullying, Europe, families, teachers, pupils

El objetivo principal de este estudio es analizar la opinión de alumnos, familias y profesores en cuatro países europeos (España, Hungría, Austria y la República Checa) sobre la prevalencia del comportamiento violento y otros aspectos problemáticos relacionados con la convivencia en la escuela, y sobre la forma en que los individuos se ven afectados personalmente por ellos. Para ello, se empleó un solo instrumento. De los resultados, se observa, primero, que hay diferencias significativas en función de quién analiza los problemas de la escuela. En general, las familias perciben los problemas analizados como menos habituales y se sienten menos afectados por ellos. Hungría se consideró el país con los niveles más bajos de violencia escolar. Los alumnos comentan su preocupación por los altos niveles de falta de motivación o aburrimiento, mientras que los profesores están más preocupados por los problemas serios de convivencia, debidos en particular a la presencia o el uso de armas y drogas y a los conflictos interculturales.

Palabras clave: violencia escolar, Europa, familias, profesores, alumnos

Violence, which is ubiquitous in today's society, is influenced by numerous factors, including a range of sociocultural variables. Thus, factors such as poverty, marginalization, social conflict, loss of values or anomie contribute to its manifestation (Kim & Pridemore, 2005). Likewise, in the context of young people, various studies have stressed the relevance of the content of television programs and the mass media (Browne & Hamilton-Giachritsis, 2005; Hogan, 2005), videogames (Arriaga, Esteves, Carneiro, & Monteiro, 2006; Rodríguez, 2002) or the relaxation of obedience to family rules (Krug, Dahlberg, Mercy, Zwi, & Lozano, 2003) as factors affecting this phenomenon.

In the school environment, the most common type of violence occurs amongst peers, and is known as bullying. Its prevalence is above 10% (Eslea et al., 2003), and recent works have indicated that it is on the increase, especially among boys (Brown, Birch, & Kancherla, 2005).

The social reality of young people of school age is marked basically by three agents: family, peer group and teachers. Numerous recent studies have explored the opinions of the young people involved (bullies and victims of bullying) (Eslea et al., 2003; Brown, et al., 2005), of teachers (Meyer, Astor, & Behre, 2002; Chapell, et al., 2004; Fisher & Kettl, 2003) and families (Eslea & Smith, 2000). However, one of the problems encountered in the results of these studies is that different instruments have been applied to assess this situation, making it difficult to compare the opinions of the various agents (Griffin & Gross, 2004).

It is also important to compare the reality of school violence across countries, especially if they have different sociopolitical systems, or are influenced by different cultural values. …

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