The Ecology of Teachers’ Experiences with Violence and Lack of Administrative Support

the APA Task Force on Classroom Violence Directed Against Teachers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations

Abstract

Teacher-directed violence is a common, yet understudied, phenomenon. Perpetrators of violence against teachers include not just students, but also administrators, parents, and colleagues. Administrators are key stakeholders when it comes to shaping school climate and safety that can reduce or increase the negative impact of violence against teachers. In this study, 237 teachers’ qualitative responses from a larger sample of 2,431 anonymous, online survey responses were examined to better understand their experiences with incidents of violence and how administrators played a role in these experiences. Results reveal that lack of administrator support negatively impacts teachers at multiple levels, including teachers’ feelings (individual); challenges associated with addressing issues related to students, parents, and other perpetrators (interpersonal); and school systems and policies (organizational). This study highlights the importance of administrative support and illustrates how administrators’ actions and inactions can have ripple effects at each level of the school microcosm. Implications for research, practice, and policy are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)502-515
Number of pages14
JournalAmerican Journal of Community Psychology
Volume60
Issue number3-4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2017

Keywords

  • Administrators
  • School climate
  • School violence
  • Social–ecological theory
  • Support
  • Teacher victimization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Applied Psychology

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