A Cross-National Analysis of Principals' Reports of School Violence

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International Criminal Justice Review




School violence is a growing problem throughout the world, although some nations exhibit higher rates of violence than others. This research examines the relationships between measures of strain and principals’ reports of school violence in schools across 39 nation-units derived from the 2007 Trends in International Mathematics and Science Studies survey. Using multilevel linear analysis, findings indicate that schools with larger eighth-grade sizes, fewer females, and greater resource shortages exhibit higher levels of violence across nations, in addition to higher national average school sizes and lower national levels of math achievement, lending support to strain theory. Interestingly, nations with higher gross domestic products (GDPs) and those that spend higher percentages of their GDP on education also exhibit higher levels of reported school violence, suggesting that potentially, the construct of school violence may be more socially acceptable to report and address in wealthier nations.