Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 47, Issue 6, pp 1221–1237 | Cite as

School Security Measures and Longitudinal Trends in Adolescents’ Experiences of Victimization

  • Benjamin W. FisherEmail author
  • Thomas J. MowenEmail author
  • John H. BomanIVEmail author
Empirical Research


Although school security measures have become a common fixture in public schools across the United States, research on the relationship between security and adolescent victimization is mixed, with very few studies examining trends in adolescent victimization across time. Using two waves of data from the Educational Longitudinal Study 2002 (N = 7659; 50.6% female; 56.7% White, 13.3% Black, 13.5% Hispanic, 11.3% Asian American, 5.4% other race), results from a series of multi-level models demonstrate that adolescents in schools with more security measures report higher odds of being threatened with harm, and no difference in odds of being in a physical altercation or having something stolen over time. Although prior research has established racial disparities in using school security measures, results demonstrate inconsistent patterns in the extent to which adolescents’ race conditions the relationship between security and victimization. The findings are discussed in light of existing theoretical and empirical work, and implications for both research and practice are offered.


School security Victimization Race School safety 


Authors’ Contributions

B.W.F. and T.J.M. conceived of the study, participated in its design and coordination, conducted data analysis, and drafted the manuscript; J.H.B. assisted with data analysis and interpretation. All authors read and approved the final submission of this manuscript.

Data Sharing Declaration

The datasets generated and/or analyzed during the current study are available in the Educational Data Analysis Tool repository,

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. For this type of study formal consent is not required. This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed Consent

All participants in the original study from which these data were derived provided informed consent. Because this manuscript uses deidentified secondary data, we do not have copies of the informed consent forms.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Criminal JusticeUniversity of LouisvilleLouisvilleUSA
  2. 2.Department of SociologyBowling Green State UniversityBowling GreenUSA

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