Schools Embedded in Larger Contexts: The Matryoshka Doll Theory of School Violence

Rami Benbenishty and Ron Avi Astor

in School Violence in Context

Published in print March 2005 | ISBN: 9780195157802
Published online January 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780199864393 | DOI:
 Schools Embedded in Larger Contexts: The Matryoshka Doll Theory of School Violence

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This chapter uses a multilevel approach and Hierarchical Linear Modeling (HLM) to test aspects of their socio-ecological model of victimization. Key findings and implications include the following: (1) school violence is associated with school, community, and family variables; (2) school-level characteristics explained a large proportion of the between school variance for verbal-social and severe victimization and a smaller proportion of moderate victimization; (3) verbal-social, moderate, and severe forms of victimization are influenced differently by different school variables; (4) verbal victimization in school is associated with the school being embedded in a Jewish, older population, more affluent context, especially in primary schools; (5) moderate victimization is associated with school climate. Contexts outside the school are not related to this form of victimization; (6) severe types of victimization are associated strongly with SES characteristics of the school families and community combined with the school's climate. Schools that are embedded in low-income communities with high concentrations of students from low SES families have more severe victimization; and (7) school climate is associated with victimization above and beyond student-level perceptions. Its largest impact is on moderate victimization.

Keywords: school violence; victimization; ecological model; poverty; community; family; school climate; culture; HLM

Chapter.  5611 words. 

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