School Violence: Psychological Measures to Avert It


School violence principally means aggression on school property caused by youthful students in schools. Serious incidences in the context of the school environs have always had profound consequences for many and often resulted in serious tension within the schools. For decades, several researchers interested in investigating students’ behavior and performance have concentrated on the issues pertinent to school violence (Rigby, 2000). School violence normally invoked by the student’s unrest has been associated with negative consequences in terms of school academic performance, school and national economic affairs, school insecurity issues, and other social and psychological impacts to the victims (Benbenishty & Astor, 2008). Despite considerable efforts by researchers to enhance school violence-related literature to expound on negative consequences of school violence, school violence is augmenting. Little remains unknown on this matter. For this reason, this study seeks to explore the issue of school violence and possible recommendations to avert such situations.

Possible causes of school violence

To provide insight into the concern of school crime and violence, which has proven a global mind seizing fact cutting across all forms of life; it is important to highlight some of the possible causes. Generally, school violence is a matter of concern for both developed and developing economies with causes differing from one region to another (Rigby, 2000). Based on empirical evidence from other studies, several causes have elicited school-based violence with both teachers and students playing a crucial role. According to empirical evidence conducted by Rigby (2000), students in several schools are both causes and victims of crime-related activities and misbehavior. Research has established individual student behavior, family contribution, community correlates, and even teacher and school management as some of the perpetrators of school-based violence. Rigby (2000) affirms that the three perpetrating factors have been the autonomous factors towards the escalating school violence.

Students individual behavior

Several prior studies have mentioned students’ misbehavior as the main cause of school violence with rampant and violent individuals existing within the schools. Students possessing disruptive behavior are always the suspects of incitements towards school violence. Such students have no academic focus and cause havoc and mayhem. Coupled with poor family background and other peer-related interactions, students’ behavior has gradually been the apparent cause of school violence cases (Benbenishty & Astor, 2008). Students’ misbehavior has long been associated with forms of violence in schools including bullying, riots, school strikes, and other antisocial activities across the school environment. For several decades, school administrations have fallen blamed by the public and parents due to their laxity in controlling individual students’ behaviors that further create an impact on the school unrest. With peer pressure becoming one of the current family-school contemporary issues, the rate of disruptive behaviors among learners is gradually increasing.

Family contribution

The concept of student behavior normally reflects the family background, which forms a great part of individual student social life including personal growth and development. Correlatively associating with personal student’s behavior, the form of child nurturing and development practiced by parents remain in question (Bagley & Pritchard, 1998). Violence in school as postulated before starts with individual students of which in this context, their disruptive behavior elicits confrontational reaction amongst them. Parental nurturing and care, which is primary to the physical and social development of the individual, quite affects individuals’ behavioral characteristics. Several studies have associated juveniles from either single parental hood or large families with school crime and violence. Bagley and Pritchard (1998) postulate that sole parenting family status and large family sizes have been specific predictors of demeanor issues in the school environment. For this reason, available empirical evidence from these studies has shown significant contributions of these factors with the probability of increased juvenile involvement in school crime following exposure to certain backgrounds.

Teachers and Management

A teacher is one of the essential stakeholders within the school structure, carrying out all forms of school-centered activities ranging from teaching to administrative functions. Teachers are always responsible for all administrative functions involving students’ academic performance, disciplinary actions, as well as their social and physical well-being, forming paramount components in schools. In much of the activities that happen within the school surroundings, teachers form part of the victims and part of perpetrators, as well (Benbenishty & Astor, 2008). Students who disagree with their teachers are normally capable of responding to such cases with retaliatory attacks. Principals and headteachers are part of individuals who form part of management in schools. Management has always been a crucial aspect in the entire globe cutting across the continuum of both education and employment. In cases where management ignores the welfare of students as part of stakeholders in the school organization, violence likely occurs during this moment.

Consequences of school violence

School violence has globally proved dangerous with its impact felt across all spheres of life from the initial action to later in the future. Precisely, school violence has since resulted in harmful activities inflicting social, economic, and physical impacts (Rigby, 2000). Beginning with physical impacts caused by school-based student unrest, several consequences come clear after such criminal offenses. The aftermath of school violence is never pleasing and several studies have highlighted possible physical effects originating from school violence. During this moment of unrest, students are fond of physically attacking one another, using it as a scapegoat for revenge and expressing their grudge. Empirical evidence conducted by Bagley and Pritchard (1998) in schools across the U.S revealed that students witnessed 51 percent of the physical attacks during school unrest and about 70% of students got involved in physical violence that resulted in physical harm and even fatalities amongst them.

Economic and Social impacts

Economic and social effects of school violence, though come later and are not felt instantly on occasion, have adverse consequences. Economic effects normally appear after the school administration ascertains the physical damages caused by school violence around the school (Rigby, 2000). During rampancy in schools, violent attacks on school properties characterize the activities of the initial occasion. This violence leads to the loss of property worth millions. Students involved in school violence are noted normally to compensate for the damages with their parents feeling the economic impact (Benbenishty & Astor, 2008). The impact might also affect other innocent students whose families end up contributing financially to intervene and restore the schools’ economic status. The social effects of school unrest come later ranging from the poor academic performance that is essential in personal future development. Students affected by any form of school-related violence may end up performing dismally in academic terms leading to future regrets and psychological trauma.


Based on the discussion herein, it is important to highlight some of the possible recommendations to help avert cases of school violence in the future. Research has revealed that modern adolescent feels more aggrieved when the administration responds to violence with violence. Due to this, schools witnessing incidences of school violence elicited by students should form solutions based on psychological control including formulating peer group discussions that touch on issues regarding school violence and its aftermath (Benbenishty & Astor, 2008). Else, great investment should focus on purchasing learning material possessing literature about school violence and its repercussions. Thirdly, the school should deploy psychological experts within the school to assist in guidance and counseling to shape students’ behavior. Finally, family being essential in the student’s background and social development should consider family forums that include violence as a basic subject, particularly focusing on possible ramifications (Benbenishty & Astor, 2008). Subsequently, media, which forms the greatest part of youth interaction, should attribute to discussions pertinent to school violence and its aftermaths.


Bagley, C., & Pritchard, C. (1998). The Billion Dollar Costs of Troubled Youth: Prospects for Cost-Effective Prevention and Treatment. International Journal of Adolescence and Youth, 7(3), 211-225.

Benbenishty, R., & Astor, V. (2008). School violence in an international context: a call for global collaboration in research and prevention. International Journal of Violence and School, 2(3), 59-80.

Rigby, K. (2000). Effects of Peer Victimisation in Schools and Perceived Social Support on Adolescent Well-Being. Journal of Adolescence, 23(1), 57-68.

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