FINDINGS

We will first go through each subcategory separately and then comment on the findings as a whole. We spend some time on the association between each school factor and violent behavior, before evaluating it as a differential predictor of violence, to assuage any doubts some readers may have on the basic association.

Findings: Academic Achievement

Academic achievement is one of the most important and the most-studied educational factor. Tables 5.1 and 5.2 display the tallies for the first set of independent variables. There were 34 studies of academic achievement overall, 11 which reported findings on reading specifically, and 9 on mathematic ability. (The tabled values do not add up to these figures because some studies were included

Table 5.1 Summary of Study-Level Findings Related to Measures of Academic Achievement and School Bonding and Violent and Nonviolent Offending

Summary of STUDY Results

Independent Variable Category

Number of Studies (k)

В

О

©

X

Academic Achievement

Violent Nonviolent Violent vs. Nonviolent

  • 30
  • 5
  • 4
  • 2
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 4
  • 2
  • 2
  • 24
  • 3
  • 1

Reading

Violent Nonviolent Violent vs. Nonviolent

  • 4
  • 1
  • 7
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 2
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 1
  • 0
  • 1
  • 1
  • 0
  • 4

Math

Violent Nonviolent Violent vs. Nonviolent

  • 4
  • 1
  • 6
  • 1
  • 0
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • 1
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • 1
  • 0
  • 2
  • 1
  • 1
  • 2

School Attachment

Violent Nonviolent Violent vs. Nonviolent

  • 30
  • 12
  • 3
  • 2
  • 0
  • 0
  • 1
  • 0
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 6
  • 3
  • 1
  • 21
  • 9
  • 1

Щ Findings are ambiguous

О Findings are in the opposite direction of the attachment hypothesis (not necessarily statistically significant)

© Relationship is reported as “null” or coefficient = 0

Findings are in the expected direction of the attachment hypothesis but are not statistically significant

X Findings are in the expected direction of the attachment hypothesis and are statistically significant

in multiple categories.) Thirty studies reported comparisons for violent offending and physical aggression. The preponderance of comparisons (PoC3) for 28 of these were in the predicted direction (higher grades associated with lower violence) and for a resounding 24 of those, the PoC was also statistically significant (see Table 5.1). There were only 5 studies reporting on nonviolent-only offending, and the PoC for all of them was in the predicted direction; in 3 out of 5 studies, the PoC was also statistically significant. Of the 4 studies reporting comparisons between violent and nonviolent offenders, 3 reported that violent offenders had lower academic achievement, though only one reported findings that were preponderantly statistically significant.

The relationship between violence and academic achievement has been tested in numerous countries and in almost all the reports, the findings are the same.

Table 5.2 Summary of Comparison-Level Findings Related to Measures of Academic Achievement and School Bonding and Violent and Nonviolent Offending

Summary of COMPARISONS

Independent Variable Category

Number of Comparisons

О

©

X

Academic Achievement

Violent Nonviolent Violent vs. Nonviolent

  • 95
  • 11
  • 6
  • 4
  • 0
  • 2
  • 2
  • 0
  • 0
  • 14
  • 2
  • 3
  • 75
  • 9
  • 1

Reading

Violent Nonviolent Violent vs. Nonviolent

  • 9
  • 2
  • 10
  • 3
  • 1
  • 3
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 1
  • 0
  • 2
  • 5
  • 1
  • 5

Math

Violent Nonviolent Violent vs. Nonviolent

  • 8
  • 1
  • 9
  • 1
  • 0
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • 4
  • 0
  • 4
  • 2
  • 1
  • 3

School Attachment

Violent Nonviolent Violent vs. Nonviolent

  • 82
  • 30
  • 8
  • 8
  • 0
  • 1
  • 2
  • 0
  • 0
  • 20
  • 9
  • 2
  • 52
  • 21
  • 5

О Findings are in the opposite direction of the attachment hypothesis (not necessarily statistically significant)

© Relationship is reported as “null” or coefficient = 0

Findings are in the expected direction of the attachment hypothesis but are not statistically significant

X Findings are in the expected direction of the attachment hypothesis and are statistically significant

Countries where the association has been reported include the United States (e.g., Bellair & McNulty, 2005; Ellickson & McGuigan, 2000; Herrenkohl et al., 2001), Iceland (Bernburg & Thorlindsson, 1999), Canada (Brownlie et al., 2004), Korea (Hyeonsook, 2010), and Spain (Ochoa, Lopez, & Emler, 2008). The association has been reported among both African Americans and Caucasian Americans (Salts, Lindholm, Goddard, & Duncan, 1995) and among Asian/Pacific Islander high school students (Wegner, Garcia-Santiago, Nishimura, & Hishinuma, 2010). The association is arguably one of the most consistent that we have found in all our reviews of correlates of violence. The one exception we came across in our search was Switzerland (Ribeaud & Eisner, 2010), but we believe the statistical model was too conservative to rely on this finding in drawing conclusions. Overall aggression was not significantly associated with “lowacademic achievement” among 11-year-old boys or girls (in a model with over 50 other variables, including previous aggression and other problem behavior, perinatal circumstances, low self-control, “aggressive conflict resolution,” low school commitment and motivation, corporal punishment, etc.).

In a separate paper, we conducted a formal meta-analysis (Savage, Ferguson, & Flores, 2016) and estimated consistent significant average effect sizes for the association between academic achievement and violence, whether it be estimated for children, adolescents, or adults, males or females, or for measures such as GPA, reading, or math ability.

 
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