Maltreatment of primary school students by educational staff in Israel

Rami Benbenishty*, Anat Zeira, Ron Avi Astor, Mona Khoury-Kassabri

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives: This paper reports on the prevalence of emotional and physical maltreatment of students in primary schools by school staff in Israel. Victimization by staff was analyzed according to students' gender, age group (4th, 5th, and 6th grade), cultural group (Jewish-non-religious, Jewish-religious, and Arab schools), school characteristics (school size and class size), and by socio-economic status of the students' families. Method: Data were obtained from a nationally representative sample of 5472 students in Grades 4-6 in 71 schools across Israel. The students completed questionnaires during class, which included a scale for reporting physical and psychological maltreatment by staff. Data on the socio-economic status of the families of the students in each school were also obtained. Results: Students reported generally high rates of maltreatment by staff members. Almost a third reported being emotionally maltreated by a staff member, and more than a fifth (22.2%) reported being a victim of at least one type of physical maltreatment. The most vulnerable groups for maltreatment were males, students in Arab schools, and students in schools with a high percentage of students from low-income and low-education families. Conclusions: These high rates of primary school students' victimization by staff are unacceptable. We recommend educational campaigns among teachers, as well as allocating more resources to support staff in low socio-economic neighborhoods.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1291-1309
Number of pages19
JournalChild Abuse and Neglect
Volume26
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2002

Keywords

  • Gender violence
  • School violence
  • Staff victimization

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