School Size and Incidents of Violence among Texas Middle Schools
Kohler, Elizabeth A.
Onwuegbuzie, Anthony J.
Combs, Julie P.
Bustamante, R. M.
Edmonson, Stacey L.
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Although many studies have been conducted regarding (a) school violence in middle schools and (b) the size of schools, to date, no researcher appears to have examined the role that the size of the middle school plays in determining incidents of violence specifically fighting, assaults, and aggravated assaults. Thus, the purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between the incidents of school violence, specifically fighting, assaults, and aggravated assaults, and the size of middle schools in the state of Texas for 3 school years. All 842 middle schools in Texas were included in this study. Compared to small schools, medium schools, and large schools, very small schools had a statistically significantly lower proportion of students involved in assaults, proportion of students involved in aggravated assaults, proportion of incidents of assaults, and proportion of incidents of aggravated assaults. Further, very small schools had a statistically significantly lower proportion of students involved in fights and proportion of incidents of fights than did large schools. A trend emerged across the 4 school sizes for all 6 indicators of school violence, which, in every case, reflected a sharp increase from very small schools to small schools—peaking at small schools. Thus, very small schools appear to be at a greater advantage than are other types of schools with respect to incidents of school violence. Implications of the findings are discussed.
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