Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Adolescents' Values Can Serve As A Buffer Against Behaving Violently At School

Date:
May 15, 2008
Source:
Society for Research in Child Development
Summary:
A study conducted among Arab and Jewish adolescents in public schools in Israel found that certain values helped protect teens against behaving violently. Surveys among 907 students examined how 10 different values related to violent behavior. Teens who valued universalism reported less violent behavior than their peers. Those who valued power reported more violent behavior. In high-risk environments, programs might be used to promote universalistic values over power values.

Researchers in Israel have found that teenagers' values helped determine whether or not they engaged in violent behavior at school, especially in schools where violence was common.

The researchers are from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The researchers gave questionnaires to 907 Jewish and Arab teenagers in grades 10 to 12 who attended 33 schools in Israel, where Jewish and Arab children attend two separate public schools systems. The teens answered questions about the importance of 10 different values and about their own violent behavior. Values were defined as goals and ideas the students saw as important and guiding principles in their lives. Violent behavior was defined as actions like hitting and threatening. The prevalence of violence in the schools was estimated by averaging, in each school, adolescents' reports of their own violent behavior, violent behavior by their two best friends, and the violence they had encountered at school.

In both Arab and Jewish schools, adolescents who valued power (trying to attain social status by controlling and dominating others) reported more violent behavior than their peers. Teenagers who valued universalism (promoting understanding, appreciation, tolerance, and protecting the welfare of all people and nature) and those who valued conformity (limiting actions and urges that might violate social expectations and norms) reported less violent behavior than their peers. The association of power and universalism with teenagers' behavior was especially strong in schools where children's exposure to violence was relatively common.

According to the researchers, the study's findings highlight the protective role of values, in the same way that personality and family can be protective. In high-risk environments like violent schools, adolescents who place a low value on power and those who place a high value on universalism may be relatively protected against engaging in violent behavior. This could happen, the researchers suggest, because as teenagers become more aware of violence, their values are more likely to guide their behavior.

"It has always been a major goal of developmental research to understand the causes of violence," says Ariel Knafo, assistant professor of psychology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the lead author of the study. "The current study, focusing on a life period considered crucial to the development of values, shows the importance of values considered in the educational context. The results suggest that programs that promote universalistic values at the expense of power values, if properly implemented, may help reduce adolescents' violent behavior."



Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Society for Research in Child Development. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Values as Protective Factors against Violent Behavior in Jewish and Arab High Schools in Israel. Knafo, A, Daniel, E, and Khoury-Kassabri, M (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem). Child Development, Vol. 79, Issue 3. (May/June 2008).

Cite This Page:

Society for Research in Child Development. "Adolescents' Values Can Serve As A Buffer Against Behaving Violently At School." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 May 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080515073009.htm>.
Society for Research in Child Development. (2008, May 15). Adolescents' Values Can Serve As A Buffer Against Behaving Violently At School. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080515073009.htm
Society for Research in Child Development. "Adolescents' Values Can Serve As A Buffer Against Behaving Violently At School." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080515073009.htm (accessed September 1, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Monday, September 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Coffee Then Napping: The (New) Key To Alertness

Coffee Then Napping: The (New) Key To Alertness

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) Researchers say having a cup of coffee then taking a nap is more effective than a nap or coffee alone. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Young Entrepreneurs Get $100,000, If They Quit School

Young Entrepreneurs Get $100,000, If They Quit School

AFP (Aug. 29, 2014) Twenty college-age students are getting 100,000 dollars from a Silicon Valley leader and a chance to live in San Francisco in order to work on the start-up project of their dreams, but they have to quit school first. Duration: 02:20 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Baby Babbling Might Lead To Faster Language Development

Baby Babbling Might Lead To Faster Language Development

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) A new study suggests babies develop language skills more quickly if their parents imitate the babies' sounds and expressions and talk to them often. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Electrical Stimulation Boosts Brain Function, Study Says

Electrical Stimulation Boosts Brain Function, Study Says

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) Researchers found an improvement in memory and learning function in subjects who received electric pulses to their brains. 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:
from the past week

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