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Work-related violence against educators in Minnesota: rates and risks based on hours exposed.

Wei C; Gerberich SG; Alexander BH; Ryan AD; Nachreiner NM; Mongin SJ
J Saf Res 2013 Feb; 44(Special Issue):73-85
Problem: Violence is a major occupational problem; yet, rigorous studies focused on educators to address this problem are limited. The objective was to identify educators' potential risks for physical assault (PA) and nonphysical violence (NPV), based on hours exposed. Methods: A total of 4,731 licensed kindergarten through grade 12 Minnesota educators, identified from the Minnesota Department of Education database, participated. Specially designed mailed questionnaires (12-month recall) enabled data collection. Calculated PA and NPV rates, per 100,000 working hours, used Poisson regression. Directed acyclic graphs identified confounders for multivariable analysis, adjusted for non-response and unknown eligibility. Results: The total PA rate was 5.3; PA risks increased for educators who: were non-married versus married; held master's degrees, or education specialist degrees, versus associate/bachelor's degrees; worked in public alternative and various school types, versus public schools; worked as social workers, in special education or multiple activities, versus standard classroom teaching; worked with <10, versus 10 to <25 students in the class. The total NPV rate was 26.4; subcategory rates were: threat (34.8); sexual harassment (7.6); verbal abuse (55.5); bullying (19.6). Increased risks for NPV included: 30.39 and 60.79, versus 50.59 years of age; non-married versus married; working in public alternative versus public schools; working part-time or substitute, versus full-time; teaching in special education or multiple activities, versus standard classroom teaching; teaching in class sizes <10 and <25, versus 10-24 students; teaching in grades 3-12 and multiple grades, versus kindergarten to second grade. The investigated results for PA and NPV were similar,with a few exceptions. Discussion and Impact on Industry: Results from this study provided information about factors associated with increased and decreased risks for violence against educators, based on hours worked. In addition, they provided a basis for further investigations to reduce violence against educators in the school environment.
Physical-reactions; Force; Education; Teaching; Injuries; Physiological-effects; Physiological-response; Risk-analysis; Risk-factors; Work-environment; Employee-exposure; Health-surveys; Questionnaires; Behavior; Behavioral-disorders; Demographic-characteristics; Psychological-factors; Sociological-factors; Author Keywords: Occupational violence; Physical assault; Nonphysical violence; Risk factors; Directed Acyclic Graphs (DAG)
Chia Wei, Division of Environmental Health Sciences, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, 1260 Mayo Building, Mayo Mail Code 807, 420 Delaware St. SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA
Publication Date
Document Type
Journal Article
Email Address
Funding Type
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
Grant-Number-R01-OH-007816; B20130625
Issue of Publication
Special Issue
Source Name
Journal of Safety Research
Performing Organization
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division