Educators and policy makers have been grappling with the issue of violence in schools for decades, .Educators, psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, political scientists, anthropologists, and sociologists have all weighed in on the possible causes. Sifting through the theories can be overwhelming, and implementing effective violence prevention programs is often frustrating. No wonder, then, that teachers and administrators often feel defeated when they confront the dangerously aggressive behavior of some pupils. According to a federal survey. Seventy-one percent of all public elementary and secondary schools reported at least one violent incident during the 1999-2003 school years.
Violent behavior and the intent to act violently are potential symptoms of numerous psychiatric disorders. Conduct Disorder, a state of persistent disregard for social conventions and rules and manifesting as criminal and antisocial behavior before the age of 18, is perhaps the most frequently mentioned diagnosis among violent youth. In addition substance abuse and dependence can contribute substantially to violent acts, either by reducing inhibitions among otherwise nonviolent students or by creating a climate through drug transactions in which violence is central. More rarely, impulsive behavior found in conditions such as Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder can lead to violent outbursts. Finally, diagnoses such as Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Antisocial Personality Disorder, and a range of psychotic disorders have been associated with the development of violent behavior among youth.
In addition to certain psychiatric diagnoses, characteristics such as low verbal IQ, immature moral reasoning, poor parental modeling, poor social skills, and lack of social supports have all been associated with the development of violent behavior in children. Studies examining characteristics particular to the school environment have...