Assessing School and Student Predictors of Weapons Reporting

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Assessing School and Student Predictors of Weapons Reporting

Category: Behavior, Youth|Journal: Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice (full text)|Author: C Gibson, E Brank, L Wylie, M Fondacaro, S Miller, S Smith, V Brown|Year: 2010

School violence and weapons at school are a major concern for community members, school administrators, and policy makers. This research examines both student-level and school-level variables that predict middle school students’ willingness to report a weapon at school under several reporting conditions. Results substantiate previous analyses of these data that student-level variables explain students’ willingness to report a weapon but extend these findings to include school climate variables that affect willingness to report (i.e., collective identity and conflict). School climate variables were also shown to influence reporting under conditions where there would be consequences for the weapons-carrying student or for the reporting student; however, school climate was not found to influence anonymous reporting conditions. Although policies aimed at improving school climate may increase a student’s willingness to report and are important in their own right, improving a school’s climate may be a daunting task. This research, therefore, suggests that the most efficient way to encourage weapons reporting is to provide students with an anonymous way to report.

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