Locational Dependence and School Violence: A GIS Mapping Analysis

Nicholas Zanin, Rutgers University
Rob Guerette, Rutgers University
Micah Phelan, Rutgers University

The prevalence of violent incidents occurring in and around nation schools has brought much attention by policy makers, government officials, and academics alike. In the study of violence in general and school violence in particular, the location of such incidents has represented a considerable focal point of investigation. For example, some have concluded that violence found in schools is a representation of more general problems of violence exhibited in the surrounding community and neighborhoods in which the school is positioned. As such, it is held that higher rates of school violence will be found in inner city, urban schools where levels of violence are disproportionately higher in general. Another example of locational reference to violence can be found in the 'subculture of violence' theory, which has been offered in explanation of heightened levels of violence found in urban areas and regions of the southern United States. Through the use of GIS mapping techniques this paper seeks to examine the relationship of violent school incidents and surrounding areas through the analysis of nationwide incidents of school associated violent deaths occurring between the school years of 1992-1993 and 2000-2001.

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Updated 05/20/2006