School and pupil effects on secondary pupils’ feelings of safety in school, around school, and at home

Daan Fettelaar, A.J. Mooij

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


    In line with fear of crime research, schools should be secure places where pupils feel safe in order to function well. Various types of risk and promotive variables at school-level and pupil-level may differently influence a pupil’s feelings of safety in school, the school surroundings, and at home. The aim is to elaborate and test a theoretical two-level model on risk and promotive variables by using national data from an Internet-based survey in all types of Dutch secondary education. The cross-sectional research involves 71,560 pupils from 185 schools. Confirmatory Factor Analysis and multi-level logistic regression analysis including latent variables are used to analyse the data. The results demonstrate that school size, pupil attainment level in education, and intactness of a pupil’s family, have positive effects on a pupil’s feelings of safety in and around school and at home; overall negative effects concern the school’s curricular differentiation and a pupil’s playing truant and not feeling most at home in the Netherlands. A school’s social, teaching, and instructional qualities, and a pupil’s being older, being a boy, and being baptised, positively affect the feelings of safety in and around school. A school’s safety policy and rules of conduct have no effects. Attending a church or mosque has negative effects on a pupil’s feelings of safety around school and at home. The findings confirm part of the two-level model. The Internet-based data collection and feedback procedure enables each school to longitudinally assess and evaluate own results at school level; in addition, cross-sectional comparison of school results with national benchmarks is possible.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1240-1265
    Number of pages26
    JournalJournal of Interpersonal Violence
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - 10 Sep 2012


    • feelings of safety
    • risk and promotive variables
    • school effects and pupil effects
    • secondary pupils
    • multi-level latent variable model
    • logistic regression analysis
    • Internet-based monitoring


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