Personal, family, and school influences on secondary pupils’ feelings of safety at school, in the school surroundings, and at home

  • Ton Mooij (Speaker)

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentationAcademic


    Different types of variables seem to influence school safety and a pupil’s feelings of safety at school. The research question asks which risk and promotive variables should be integrated in a theoretical model to predict a pupil’s feelings of safety at school, in the school surroundings, and at home; what the outcomes are of an empirical check of this model; and how feelings of safety at school could be improved. A theoretical model is developed, which contains seven types of variables: personal, family related, school related problematic behaviours, perceived school measures to improve safety, curriculum and social aspects of teaching-learning processes and of the school, and demographic variables. A large-scale empirical check of the model is carried out using data from national Internet-based surveys in Dutch secondary education. The monitoring took place in 2006 and 2008. A total of 159,630 pupils, 13,127 teachers and educational support staff, 1,235 school leadership, and 433 schools participated. Data reliability was checked by Alpha scale construction. The model was tested in three multiple regression analyses, to explain the pupils’ feelings of safety at school, in the school surroundings, and at home, respectively. Most relevant were characteristics and variables assessed with the pupils, followed by contextual variables of teachers and other staff. School leadership variables are important mainly with respect to pupils’ feelings of safety in the school surroundings. Promotive variables that seem most promising in improving both safety and feelings of safety in and around school, concern a number of elements. They include: enhancement of pupils’ level of attainment, taking school measures against playing truant and to eliminate weapons, stimulating pro-social formulation and shared control of rules of conduct between teachers and pupils, paying attention to pupils’ involvement in school, increasing the involvement of external institutions and the police in school safety procedures, and increasing support in Dutch language for pupils in need of this.
    PeriodAug 2010
    Event titleEuropean Conference on Educational Research
    Event typeConference
    LocationHelsinki, Finland