Schools, neighborhoods, and adolescent conflicts: A situational examination of reciprocal dynamics

Rod K. Brunson, Jody Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


Youths' exposure to school violence is ecologically patterned, occurring disproportionately in public schools located in urban disadvantaged communities. We know less, however, about how situational processes and environmental contexts shape school violence. In addition, limited research has examined the reciprocal nature of school and neighborhood conflicts. Here we draw from a qualitative study of violence in the lives of African American youths from a disadvantaged inner-city community to examine young men's experiences with school-based violence. Specifically, we investigate two questions: (1) how conflicts are shaped by the school setting, and (2) how and when such conflicts unfold and spill over between neighborhoods and schools. Our findings highlight the importance of examining the situational and ecological contexts of youth violence to further illuminate its causes and consequences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)183-210
Number of pages28
JournalJustice Quarterly
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2009
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Law


  • African American youth
  • Interpersonal violence
  • School disorder
  • Urban disadvantage


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