Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

School Environment Can Moderate Student Aggression, Study Finds

Date:
April 24, 2007
Source:
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Summary:
The culture of a school can dampen -- or exacerbate -- the violent or disruptive tendencies of aggressive young teens, new research indicates. A large-scale study found that while personal traits and peer interactions have the most direct effect on the aggressive behavior of middle school students, the school environment also influences student aggression.

“The school had a relatively modest but nonetheless significant effect on student aggression,” said professor of family medicine Janet Reis.
Credit: Photo by L. Brian Stauffer

The culture of a school can dampen – or exacerbate – the violent or disruptive tendencies of aggressive young teens, new research indicates. A large-scale study from the University of Illinois found that while personal traits and peer interactions have the most direct effect on the aggressive behavior of middle school students, the school environment also influences student aggression.

Related Articles


The study assessed individual, family and school predictors of aggression in 111,662 middle school students. The findings appear in the March 2007 issue of the journal, Youth & Society.

The researchers used a statistical method called hierarchical linear modeling, which separates individual and contextual effects to determine the relative importance of each. The data were compiled from surveys of sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders at geographically, socioeconomically and racially diverse middle schools.

In the surveys, the students were asked to report how many times in the previous six months they had acted mean toward others, hit others or got into fights. The students also reported on how they reacted to events that upset them, their daily experience of problems or hassles, and their perceptions of family and teacher social and emotional support.

Other questions measured the students’ sense of belonging in school, their perception of the fairness of school disciplinary actions and policies, and the presence or absence of cultural sensitivity training. The students were also asked to report on whether their school offered them opportunities to participate in rule making or otherwise contribute to shaping the school environment.

“The school had a relatively modest but nonetheless significant effect on student aggression,” said professor of family medicine Janet Reis. “The dimensions that were found to be important were supportive decision-making, students’ inclusion in helping set up the school culture – in general (providing) a more democratic and participatory environment.”

Teaching strategies that emphasized understanding over memorization and cultural sensitivity training also appeared to reduce aggression at school, Reis said.

“The direction from this is that teachers and administrators might explore how to include participation from their students,” Reis said. “If schools keep remembering that they really do have an impact on the children who come in every day, that it matters how the adults configure the school day, then the correlational evidence from this study is that you can expect to see, on average, some diminution in aggression and disciplinary cases, which are the bane of all school administrators.”


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. "School Environment Can Moderate Student Aggression, Study Finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 April 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070423155112.htm>.
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. (2007, April 24). School Environment Can Moderate Student Aggression, Study Finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070423155112.htm
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. "School Environment Can Moderate Student Aggression, Study Finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070423155112.htm (accessed December 19, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Friday, December 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) Harvard researchers found children whose mothers were exposed to high pollution levels in the third trimester were twice as likely to develop autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Yoga Could Be As Beneficial For The Heart As Walking, Biking

Yoga Could Be As Beneficial For The Heart As Walking, Biking

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Yoga can help your weight, blood pressure, cholesterol and heart just as much as biking and walking does, a new study suggests. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
1st Responders Trained for Autism Sensitivity

1st Responders Trained for Autism Sensitivity

AP (Dec. 16, 2014) More departments are ordering their first responders to sit in on training sessions that focus on how to more effectively interact with those with autism spectrum disorder (Dec. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Guys Are Idiots, According To Sarcastic Study

Guys Are Idiots, According To Sarcastic Study

Newsy (Dec. 12, 2014) A study out of Britain suggest men are more idiotic than women based on the rate of accidental deaths and other factors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins