Effects of Student Participation and Teacher Support on Victimization in Israeli Schools: An Examination of Gender, Culture, and School Type

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Abstract

Much of the research literature on school violence has focused narrowly on individual characteristics of troubled youth, without careful examination of contextual factors that might influence violence and victimization in school settings. This study examines the associations among Student Participation in Decision-Making in their Schools, Teacher Support, and Student Victimization (by students and staff members) in a nationally representative sample of 10,254 students in 164 junior high and high schools in Israel. Data were analyzed using structural equations modeling for full group analyses and for group comparisons of patterns among junior high, high school, male, female, and Jewish and Arab students. Across all models, higher levels of teacher support were associated with lower rates of victimization. Participation in Decision-Making was also related to Victimization, with varying patterns depending on students' gender and ethnicity. Theoretical and social cultural factors contributing to these gender and cultural differences are discussed. The general findings are consistent with the research literature on teacher support, however they raise future research questions about culture and gender effects when considering participation and school contexts.

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