The Stability of Threats of Violence Based on Child and Teacher-Report of Threats

Albert Kienfie Liau, Kent State University
Daniel J. Flannery, Kent State University

There is some evidence that a relationship between threats of violence and actual violent behavior exists for children. The purpose of this study is to contribute to the field's growing understanding of the relationship between threats of violence and violent behavior by examining the stability of threats over time based on children's self-reports of making threats and their teachers' ratings of children's use of threats. The data for this study was part of a longitudinal effort to evaluate Peacebuilders, a schoolwide violence-prevention program. In this study, Time 1 was data collected in 1997 and Time 2 was data collected in 1998. Based on student self-reports and teacher reports, data was obtained for 1,920 students for both Times 1 and 2. A significant association existed between threats made at Time 1 and Time 2 for both children's self-reports and teacher ratings. However, about 27% of children who reported not threatening others at Time 1, reported making threats at Time 2. And about 19% of children who reported making threats at Time 1 reported that they did not threaten others at Time 2. More research needs to be done on the stability of threats and their association with violent behavior.

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Updated 05/20/2006