Predictors of Perceived Risk for Student-on-Student Victimization in Grades 7-10

John J. Kerbs, Florida State University
Stephen A. Rollin, Florida State University
Robert Gutierrez, Florida State University
Isabelle Potts, Florida State University
KyuBeom Choi, Florida State University
Alia Haque Creason, Florida State University
Tam Dao, Florida State University

Child advocates, criminologists, and policy makers have focused increasingly on issues pertaining to school violence in general and student-on-student victimization (SSV) in particular. Although past research has largely focused on the predictors of SSV and fear of SSV among students, the predictors of "perceived risk" for SSV (i.e., the cognitive appraisal of the chances of experiencing victimization) have been mostly neglected in the literature. This paper examines predictors of perceived risk for four types of SSV -- psychological, property, physical, and sexual. In this study, criminal opportunity theories of victimizatin (e.g., Meier & Miethe, 1993) and Goffman's dramaturgical framework (1959, 1963) informed research questions regarding hypothesized relationships between predictors and the four different types of SSV. All analyses used self-report survey data collected in a single Florida public school. Out of a potential pool of 622 students in grades 7 through 10, 358 voluntarily participated after the acquisition of parental consent and student assent (a 57.6% response rate). The results of multiple regression analyses suggested that the predictors of perceived risk for SSV vary by the type of risk measured. This paper concludes with a discussion of policy implications and directions for future research.

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Updated 05/20/2006