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Examining School Violence Cross-Nationally: A Test of Social Disorganization and Institutional Anomie
American Society of Criminology (2011)
  • Laura E. Agnich, Georgia Southern University
This study examines the predictors of school violence cross-nationally, testing the applicability of social disorganization and institutional anomie theories to violence in schools. Social disorganization and institutional anomie theories have been tested in cross-national studies of adult violence, but not adolescent violence in the school setting. Using hierarchical linear modeling (HLM), a method of multi-level linear analysis, of the 2007 Trends in International Math and Science Studies (TIMSS) data augmented with data from UN Human Development Reports, UN Demographic Yearbook, CIA World Factbook and the World Health Organization Mortality Database, I determine what measures of disorganization and institutional anomie account for cross-national variation in the level of school violence. This research is the first study to use multi-level linear analysis to discern the school and national level predictors of school violence. Violence is operationally defined as a continuum of aggression ranging from non-physical to physical, including low-level “teasing” as well as more serious forms of interpersonal violence. I find support for social disorganization theory, but some unexpected findings relating to institutional anomie. Further, I theorize that some conceptions of school violence may be a Western construct.
  • School violence,
  • Social disorganization,
  • Institutional anomie,
  • Adolescent violence
Publication Date
November 16, 2011
Citation Information
Laura E. Agnich. "Examining School Violence Cross-Nationally: A Test of Social Disorganization and Institutional Anomie" American Society of Criminology. Washington, D. C.. Nov. 2011.