Peer predictability: An adolescent strategy for increasing a sense of personal safety at school

Ellen de Lara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

This action research and general system theory based qualitative inquiry examined adolescents’ dependence on predicting the behavior of their peers as a strategy for enhancing their sense of safety at school and avoiding violence. A total of 95 adolescents in 9th through 12th grades from two small rural schools and one large suburban school in New York State participated in the study. Results indicated that students depend on Peer Predictability to feel safe during the school day when adults fail to predictably supervise or intervene in areas or interactions which adolescents perceive as potentially threatening. Familiarity leading to predictability allowed students to evaluate peers for the possibility of emotional or physical violence. This article presents quotes from the students that capture their unique experience.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31-56
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of School Violence
Volume1
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2002

Keywords

  • Action research
  • Adolescents
  • Bullying
  • Emotional violence
  • General systems
  • Peer predictability
  • Perception
  • School violence
  • Secondary schools

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality

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