This study uses an ecological/contextual theory to explore how students' perpetration of violence and other aggressive behaviors is associated with individual factors such as gender, age, and perception of school climate, and contextual factors such as cultural affiliation, school climate, and teacher characteristics among 4th- through 6th-grade Jewish and Arab students in Israel. A questionnaire testing the use of aggressive behavior in school was completed by 120 homeroom teachers and 3,375 students. The results of the study show that levels of perpetration of violence and other aggressive behaviors vary between classes (15.20% directed against students and 7.33% directed against teachers). At the teacher-classroom level, higher levels of perpetration were found in classes with a lower percentage of girls and in classes with fewer or less clear and consistent policies to deal with aggressive behaviors. At the individual level, gender and perception of school climate were found to be associated with levels of perpetration of aggression. The "Discussion" section highlights the importance of improving school climate in order to deal more effectively with violence and aggressive behaviors in schools.
- School climate