At-school victimization and violence exposure assessed in a national household survey of children and youth.

Key Point: Youth experience a broad range of victimization at school, most commonly in the form of bullying.

Summary: The purpose of this study was to explore victimization of youth at school. Through the use of a national telephone survey, the study sampled 3,391 youth, ages 5 to 17. The study had three main goals: to explore the types of victimization youth had experienced within the last year and compared victimizations that occurred in school to those that occurred out of school; to identify risk factors of youth who experienced higher rates of victimization and; to examine the consequences of victimization for those youth. Results demonstrated that a high level of victimization occurred in school settings, and the most common type of victimization was bullying, followed by assault, sexual harassment and sexual assault. Risk factors for victimization did not differ significantly by gender, SES, race, place, and type of disability.  The authors suggested that this evidence highlights the importance of school-based programs and higher levels of surveillance by adults to prevent bullying and other forms of victimization.

Application/Evaluation: The study did not evaluate the effectiveness of a health program or strategy.

Limitations: The study asked youth to self-report experiences of victimization in the previous year. Youth who experienced higher rates of victimization may have chosen not to participate.  

Finkelhor, D., Vanderminden, J., Turner, H., Shattuck, A., & Hamby, S.
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Journal of School Violence
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