AN ANALYSIS of PERSON-RELATED, ENVIRONMENT-RELATED, and SCHOOL CONTEXTUAL FACTORS ASSOCIATED with a BEHAVIOR-RELATED FACTOR of TEACHER VICTIMIZATION by STUDENTS
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The problem of teacher victimization by students (TVS) was investigated in this study. The theoretical approach employed was rooted in Bandura’s Social Cognitive Theory (SCT) which involves Triadic Reciprocal Determinism among elements of Behavior, Person, and Environment. The two main purposes of this study were (a) to find out if selected survey items supported factor constructs of Behavior, Person, and Environment and (b) to determine if person-related, environment-related, and school contextual factors predicted a behavior-related factor. In the current study, the behavior-related factor was TVS. The person-related factor was named Student Academic Orientation. The environment-related factor, which measured Limitations on schools’ efforts to reduce or prevent crime within their buildings, was composed of four factors which were named Lack of Support, Fear, Lack of Resources, and External Policies on Disciplining Students. Additionally, the three school contextual factors included in the final analysis were Level of Instruction, Size (as measured by student enrollment), and Locale (urbanicity). Data were analyzed from a sample of 2,560 principals who completed the School Survey on Crime and Safety (SSOCS 2008). Frequencies of TVS in over 80,000 U.S. public schools were estimated. Measurement as well as structural models were employed to test the study’s five hypotheses. In the measurement models, selected survey items successfully loaded onto their three respective factor constructs; thus, support was found for the first set of hypotheses. Regarding the structural models, Hypothesis Two was supported; greater Student Academic Orientation significantly predicted, with a small effect size, less frequent occurrences of TVS. Support was found for the third set of hypotheses. These tested the relationships between four environment-related factors of limitations on schools’ efforts to reduce or prevent crime in their buildings and frequencies of TVS. The effect sizes were medium for two of the environment-related predictors, Lack of Support and Lack of Resources, and small for the other two environment-related predictors, Fear and External Policies on Disciplining Students. Partial support was found for Hypothesis Four. Lower Student Academic Orientation, a person-related factor, in combination with greater limitations on schools’ efforts to reduce or prevent crime, arising from two environment-related factors of Lack of Support and Lack of Resources predicted with a medium effect size, more frequent TVS. Partial support was found for Hypothesis Five. Lower Student Academic Orientation, a person-related factor, and Lack of Support, Fear, and Lack of Resources, three environment-related factors, significantly predicted increased frequencies of TVS, a behavior-related factor. The environment-related factor, External Policies on Disciplining Students, was not a significant predictor of TVS. Overall, the contextual variables of school Level of Instruction, Size, and Urbanicity were significant predictors of TVS in schools which experienced average limitations on their efforts to reduce or prevent crime and which had average levels of Student Academic Orientation. Concerning Level of Instruction, elementary and combined schools, but not middle, had significantly lower frequencies of TVS than high schools. Generally, schools with more than 1,000 students had higher frequencies of TVS as contrasted with schools with less than 1,000 students. Generally, urban schools had higher frequencies of TVS as contrasted with suburban, small town and rural schools. The effect size for this structural model which tested the fifth hypothesis, with all the variables combined, was large. Theoretical and policy implications of the findings were noted. Limitations of the study were discussed. Recommendations for future research were made.