Substance abuse, parenting styles, and aggression: An exploratory study of weapon carrying students

Kenneth Corvo, Kimberly Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


This study represents one of the first undertaken exclusively with students who brought weapons (other than guns) to school, a group often presenting special difficulty to educators, social workers, and others. The study was performed ancillary to a national study of school violence prevention programs, undertaken by the Hamilton Fish National Institute, but completed at the only site exclusively working with weapons carriers. Appended to the instrument developed for the national study (the National School Crime and Safety Survey), were questions examining measures of student and family relationships, as well as attitudes and behavior among students who had been caught with weapons in school. Subjects (N=37) were students of the Syracuse Public Schools, who had been sent to an alternative school as a result of being caught with a weapon. Substance abusing behavior by adults in the home was common and over one-quarter of respondents indicated having a parent who had been in jail. Family structure was mainly female-headed and family relationships were not reported as overly conflictual. Physical punishment was not common and most respondents reported a good relationship with their parents. Families may be better characterized as inadequate and providing poor models than violent. Family factors most strongly associated with non-aggressive strategies are those which suggest accountability or limit-setting by parents. High levels of parental alcohol and drug abuse, as well as the students' own use, suggest links to poor parenting and intergenerational processes. Findings support the need for substance abuse assessments and family interventions that strengthen disciplinary and protective functions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Alcohol and Drug Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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