Rates and Types of Student Aggression against Teachers: A Comparative Analysis of U.S. Elementary, Middle, and High Schools

Susan D. McMahon, Cori L. Cafaro, Kailyn Bare, Kayleigh E. Zinter, Yesenia Garcia Murillo, Gabrielle Lynch, Eric M. Anderman, Dorothy L. Espelage, Linda A. Reddy, Rena Subotnik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Student perpetrated violence against teachers is widespread, yet few studies differentiate teacher experiences of violence by school level (i.e., elementary, middle, and high school). This study, based upon 2,558 pre-kindergarten through 12th grade teacher survey responses, revealed differences in types of student aggression against teachers by school level. Middle and high school teachers were more likely to report verbal harassment compared to elementary school teachers. Middle school teachers were most likely to report property offenses. Elementary and middle school teachers were more likely to report physical aggression than high school teachers. Demographic predictors of teacher-directed violence were also examined at each school level. Across all school levels, urban teachers had a greater probability of experiencing a violent incident. For elementary teachers, race/ethnicity and teaching experience were also significant risk factors. Future research, policy, and practice implications and recommendations are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalSocial Psychology of Education
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

Keywords

  • School level
  • School violence
  • Stage-environment fit
  • Student aggression
  • Teacher-directed violence
  • Teachers

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