School Violence

All forms of school violence — from playground bullying to school shootings — have an adverse effect on educational environments. RAND studies have evaluated the effectiveness of risk assessment and violence prevention programs, as well as counseling for students who have been traumatized by violence in schools.

  • Girl being bullied by classmates in school corridor

    Commentary

    The Ghost of Bullying

    The idea that bullying is experienced by only a few children and adolescents is false. Most cases are verbal, not physical, and victims tend to remain silent. Research has shown that bullying can have negative long-term effects on a person's life.

    May 31, 2017

  • A college campus with a bicycle rack

    Commentary

    Focusing on Tallying the Number of Campus Sexual Assaults Can Make the Problem Worse

    Accurate reporting of sexual violence is important. But counting and reporting assaults shouldn't be confused with polices that focus on making sure universities have the resources and support systems they need to help victims.

    Jan 6, 2017

  • Students in the hall

    Research Brief

    Can Technology Make Schools Safer?

    Concerns about violence have led many schools to seek out safety technologies such as metal detectors, anonymous “tip lines,” and video surveillance systems. How effective are these at helping schools prevent and respond to threats and acts of violence?

    Aug 22, 2016

  • Security camera in a lobby

    Report

    The Role of Technology in Improving School Safety

    School violence can damage both kids' future outcomes and the culture and performance of the school. Safety technologies are one of many approaches to prevent and respond to the problem. What role might they play?

    Apr 14, 2016

  • Journal Article

    The Association Between Youth Violence Exposure and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Symptoms in a Sample of Fifth-Graders

    The purpose of the current study was to examine the association between violence exposures (no exposure, witness or victim only, and both witness and victim) and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms.

    Nov 11, 2015

  • A young student sitting outside in a school corridor

    Commentary

    Rethinking Student Discipline and Zero Tolerance

    Restorative practices are an alternative to zero-tolerance school discipline policies. Rather than mandating prescribed punishments for specific misbehaviors, this more tailored approach aims to empower students.

    Oct 14, 2015

  • High school student and teacher using digital tablet

    Blog

    How Schools Can Help Students with Traumatic Stress

    Schools are in a unique position to recognize traumatic stress in children. But first, adults throughout the school system—teachers, staff, administrators, school resource officers, and parents—must be aware of the issue, know how to detect signs of trauma exposure, and create a supportive environment.

    Oct 2, 2014

  • High school students studying at desks in a classroom

    Journal Article

    Attending Successful Schools Can Reduce Risky Behavior in Adolescents

    Most successful schools demonstrate better retention and academic achievement. As a result, being admitted to or attending a successful school can reduce very risky health behaviors among low-income adolescents.

    Jul 30, 2014

  • Journal Article

    School Intervention Related to School and Community Violence

    This article describes how schools can circumvent several key barriers to mental health service provision, outcomes that school interventions target, and the role of the family in school-based services.

    Mar 28, 2014

  • Journal Article

    Early Puberty, Negative Peer Influence, and Problem Behaviors in Adolescent Girls

    Early puberty and friends' deviance may increase the risk of problem behavior in young adolescent girls. Although many of these associations dissipate over time, early-maturing girls are at risk of persistently higher delinquency and stronger negative peer influences.

    Jan 1, 2014

  • President Barack Obama's State of the Union address on Capitol Hill in Washington, February 12, 2013

    Blog

    The State of the Union 2013

    The 2013 SOTU address will be remembered for its impassioned call for greater gun control just two months after Sandy Hook. But President Obama's second-term agenda can be characterized by its sheer breadth, reflecting the broad range of policy challenges facing the U.S. today.

    Feb 13, 2013

  • A Glock 22 pistol is displayed at the Rocky Mountain Guns and Ammo store in Parker, Colorado, July 24, 2012

    Commentary

    Firearms and Gun Control: Many Questions, Some Answers

    Guns claim the lives of thousands of people in America every year. But the problem of gun violence is larger and much more complex than mass shootings. What does research say about how to reduce firearm-related deaths?

    Jan 17, 2013

  • backpack school bus

    Content

    Healing After the Sandy Hook Tragedy

    Nothing can reverse the disaster at Sandy Hook Elementary School and return the victims to their families. But research can guide the community toward recovery—and may help prevent future tragedies.

    Jan 3, 2013

  • Gun violence protesters march on NRA lobbying offices

    Commentary

    Responding to Newtown

    Art Kellermann reviews what is known from broad outlines of the Newtown attack and past research on gun violence to offer some preliminary thoughts to the Obama Administration's task force and the public.

    Dec 26, 2012

  • Assault rifle

    Commentary

    Silencing the Science on Gun Research

    The United States has long relied on public health science to improve the safety, health, and lives of its citizens. Perhaps the same straightforward, problem-solving approach that worked well in other circumstances can help the nation meet the challenge of firearm violence, writes Arthur Kellermann.

    Dec 21, 2012

  • sad girl

    Project

    CBITS Offers Online Training and Support to Improve Mental Health of Children and Families

    The Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Trauma in Schools (CBITS) program is a school-based, group, and individual intervention. CBITS is designed to reduce symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and behavioral problems, and to improve grades and attendance, peer and parent support, and coping skills.

    Sep 11, 2012

  • Journal Article

    Responding to Students with PTSD in Schools

    Students who have experienced a traumatic event are at increased risk for academic, social, and emotional problems as a result of these experiences.

    Jan 1, 2012

  • empty desk

    Journal Article

    Schools Can Be a Powerful Setting for PTSD Interventions

    The Cognitive-Behavioral Intervention for Trauma in Schools Program (CBITS) is a targeted intervention for school children who have experienced a traumatic or violent event and have symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder.

    Jan 1, 2012

  • child psychologist with girl

    Research Brief

    Helping Children Cope with Violence and Trauma: A School-Based Program That Works

    The Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Trauma in Schools (CBITS) reduces symptoms of post-traumatic stress and depression in students exposed to violence. Free web-based training to deliver CBITS is available for mental health professionals.

    Dec 31, 2010

  • Journal Article

    School Personnel Perspectives on Their School's Implementation of a School-Based Suicide Prevention Program

    This study of a district-wide suicide prevention program found that schools whose implementation focused on at-risk students had better results.

    Jan 1, 2010