Understanding teacher-directed violence and related turnover through a school climate framework

Eric Peist*, Susan D. McMahon, Jacqueline O. Davis-Wright, Christopher B. Keys

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Teacher turnover is an issue of national significance and has worsened since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Teacher-directed violence and teacher turnover can significantly impact school life for students, staff, and communities. Using Wang and Degol's school climate framework, we examined school characteristics that contribute to teacher-directed violence and related turnover. The current study examines the qualitative experiences of 403 teachers who reported that their most upsetting incidents of violence contributed to desires to leave the profession, transfer, or retire. Many teachers indicated concerns about safety and community factors, including parent–teacher relationships and community violence. Educators emphasized issues related to administrators, describing a lack of support and poor leadership. Finally, teachers discussed concerns with policy on both school and government levels. Improving school climate may be one avenue for decreasing teacher-directed violence and preventing turnover.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPsychology in the Schools
StateAccepted/In press - 2023


  • qualitative methods
  • school and community
  • school climate
  • teacher turnover
  • teacher-directed violence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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