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School nurses, School violence, Social learning theory, Teachers' perspective



  1. Johnson, Shelley A. MS, RN
  2. Fisher, Kathleen PhD, CRNP


Purpose: To discover what teachers perceive to be contributing factors to violence in schools.


Study Design and Methods: Open-ended questions were asked of a convenience sample of teachers (n = 396) during an in-service education program on school violence. The teachers were in a semi-rural school district in a Mid-Atlantic state. Answers were analyzed using content analysis; all responses were reviewed and important themes were extracted. Identified themes were then placed into suitable categories and studied to determine relationships.


Results: Of the surveys analyzed (n = 239), 13 themes were identified. The three categories which then identified probable causes of school violence were (1) lack of knowledge, (2) lack of support, and (3) inadequate safety measures.


Clinical Implications: Nurses can use the results of this study in multiple ways. One is to help parents understand their role in preventing school violence. Because violence in the home and violence in the media seem to foster violent acting-out behavior, nurses can teach parents about these correlations and seek solutions such as the elimination of family violence, and monitoring television viewing and video games. Nursing assessments of school-aged children and their families can include these elements. School nurses in particular can use these study results as an opportunity to develop interventions for students, teachers, and families that stress knowledge building about impulse control, anger management, appropriate parenting, and early intervention for at-risk children.