Contemporary School Psychology

, Volume 22, Issue 4, pp 435–442 | Cite as

Teacher-Directed Violence and Stress: the Role of School Setting

  • Christina Bounds
  • Lyndsay N. JenkinsEmail author


Teacher-directed violence (TDV), or violence in schools directed toward teachers, is a growing concern in contemporary schools (Bounds & Jenkins, Contemporary School Psychology, 20, 1–9, 2016; Espelage et al. 2011). Existing research suggests that some teachers are more at risk of TDV (e.g., teachers whom are White, female, homosexual, religious, older, or those teaching high school) but it is unclear if teachers from all school settings (i.e., rural, urban, or suburban) experience similar levels of TDV and stress associated with TDV. Additionally, there has been no research in the USA examining how teachers cope with teacher-directed violence. Little is known about to whom teachers reach out for social support and if that social support is effective in moderating teacher stress. Past research demonstrates that teaching is a high-stress occupation (Fimian, Exceptional Children, 52, 436–442, Fimian 1988), and some of this stress could be related to experiences of violence. The current study examined differences in TDV experiences among 117 rural, urban, and suburban teachers in the Midwest. Analyses revealed that teachers in urban schools experienced the highest levels of TDV, followed by teachers in rural schools, then suburban teachers. A similar result was found when teachers were asked about stress they experienced that was specific to violence at work. Interestingly, when assessing work stress, suburban teachers had the highest levels of work stress, followed by urban, then rural teachers.


Teacher victimization Teacher-directed violence Teacher stress 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© California Association of School Psychologists 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Eastern Illinois UniversityCharlestonUSA
  2. 2.Florida State UniversityTallahasseeUSA

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