The awareness of risky peer group behaviors on school grounds as predictors of students’ victimization on school grounds: Part II-junior high schools

Ron Avi Astor*, Rami Benbenishty, Roxana Marachi, Muhammad M. Hajyahia, Anat Zeira, Suzanne Perkinshart, Ronald O. Pitner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examined how risky peer group behaviors (e.g. being aware of or witnessing drug use, students carrying weapons, or vandalism on school grounds) had on students’ experience of school victimization. This article is the second study in a two part series. The first article (Part I) was published in this journal and focused on elementary schools. This article (Part II) extends the findings from the prior study and explores how the awareness of risky peer behaviors predict victimization in junior high schools. The sample was drawn from central and northern Israel and consisted of 1,184 Arab and 947 Jewish students (grades 7th-9th). Students completed an anonymous self-report questionnaire, which was based on the California School Climate Survey (Furlong et al., 1997). The descriptive statistics suggest that junior high schools have different rates of peer risk behaviors and victimization. However, findings from a hierarchical regression analysis suggest that risky peer group behaviors in school contexts are one of the strongest predictors of victimization. The relationship between risky peer groups and victimization was similar for both elementary schools and high schools. The only major difference between the findings in Part I and Part II was that being a male emerged as a stronger predictor of victimization in junior high schools. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)57-76
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of School Violence
Volume1
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2002

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Ron Avi Astor is affiliated with the School of Social Work, University of Michigan, 1080 South University Ave, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1106. Rami Benbenishty is affiliated with the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, School of Social Work, Jerusalem, Israel 91905. Muhammad M. Haj-Yahia is affiliated with the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, School of Social Work, Jerusalem, Israel 91905. Anat Zeira is affiliated with the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, School of Social Work, Jerusalem, Israel 91905. Suzanne Perkins-Hart is affiliated with the Combined Program in Education and Psychology, 1350 School of Education Building, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI. Roxana Marachi is affiliated with the School of Social Work, University of Michigan, 1080 South University Ave., Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1106. Ronald O. Pitner is Assistant Professor, Washington University in St. Louis, George Warren Brown School of Social Work, Box 1196, St. Louis, MO 63130. Address correspondence to: Ron Avi Astor, School of Social Work, University of Michigan, 1080 South University Ave., Ann Arbor MI 48109-1106 (E-mail: rastor@umich.edu). The authors would like to thank the many students, principals, and teachers who generously gave their time and support to make this study possible. The authors also thank their families for being so supportive during the years it took to conduct this study. Portions of this study and article were funded through a National Academy of Education/Spencer Fellowship, and a Fulbright Senior Scholar Fellowship to the first author.

Keywords

  • Behavior
  • International
  • Junior high
  • Peers
  • Victimization
  • Violence

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