Poster on Preventing School Violence to be Presented at APA on 8/2 in Orlando, FL

Volungis, A. M. (2012, August). School size & youth violence: Potential mediating and moderating role of school connectedness. Poster presented at the 120 annual conference of the American Psychological Association, Orlando, FL.

The goal of this study was to consider an alternative, multivariable approach towards preventing youth violence utilizing longitudinal data (Add Health).  First, school personnel (e.g., school teachers) may specifically enhance/foster school-connectedness through their relationships, which may play a role in decreasing youth violence.  Second, school size by itself seems to also influence school connectedness and other similar factors such as interpersonal relationships with teachers…

…Overall, the findings from this study highlight how student-teacher relationships can be a key factor in preventing youth violence.  Furthermore, the malleability of school connectedness provides a primary target area for change.  School psychologists and other mental health professionals can both create programs that improve student-teacher relationships and also have a means to assess individual student perceptions of safety and relationships with others.  In addition to contributing to the literature on preventing youth violence, this study also underscores the need for future research to take caution in research design and measurement with Add Health data, and further exploration in alternative contextual relationships that may prevent youth violence.

Adam M. Volungis, PhD, LMHC

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