PhD students Jenny Afkinich and Susan Klumpner are the authors of new research published in the Journal of the Society for Social Work and Research. The article is titled "Violence Prevention Strategies and School Safety."
Objective: More than 800,000 incidents of nonfatal victimizations occur at schools in the U.S. each year, and many additional children witness violence. Victimization has long-lasting health, emotional, and psychological consequences. This study aims to determine whether using diverse strategies—including more types of prevention programs and a wider variety of community groups—is associated with lower rates of violence at school. Method: We conducted a secondary analysis of data from the 2006 School Survey on Crime and Safety. Principals of 2,724 U.S. public schools responded to surveys mailed by the National Center for Education Statistics. We created variables for the number of violence prevention program types and community group types and entered those into a regression model with a negative binomial distribution to predict the number of violent incidents on campus. Results: The independent variables—prevention programs and community groups—were both associated with an increase in violent incidents. The most important risk factor for violent incidents was violence in the neighborhoods where students live, and the most influential protective factor was percentage of parental volunteerism. Conclusions: Findings suggest intervention points for both universal (parental volunteerism) and selective (violent neighborhoods) prevention efforts.