NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search

Environmental violence and physical assault against teachers.

Gerberich S; Nachreiner N; Ryan A; Mongin S; Church T; McGovern P; Geisser M; Feda D; Sage S; Pinder E; Watt G
NOIRS 2008-Abstracts of the National Occupational Injury Research Symposium, October 21-23, 2008, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Morgantown, WV: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 2008 Oct; :G2.3
Introduction: Teachers are known to be at high risk for work-related violence; however, data specific to risk factors are limited. Data from a case control study were analyzed to determine the effect of reported environmental violence on work-related physical assault among educators working in kindergarten through grade 12 schools. Methods: From the Minnesota license database, 26,000 randomly selected educators were screened for eligibility by mailed questionnaire; 6,180 were eligible for data collection. Phase 1 (12-month recall) identified eligible cases (n = 290) and controls (n = 867) and characteristics of the violent events; Phase 2 (case control, recall from the calendar month before the violent events for cases or a randomly selected month for controls) enabled identification of environmental exposures. Confounders were selected for multiple logistic regression analyses using Directed Acyclic Graphs with reweighting for nonresponse biases. Results: Response rates for each phase were 84%. Assaults were primarily perpetrated by students (95%). Respective risks (ORs; 95% CIs) for physical assault increased for educators working in environments where they witnessed students involved in physical assault 1-3 (2.94, 1.95-4.43), 4-10 (6.61, 3.73-11.72), 10+ (15.66, 7.84-31.27) versus zero times; threat 1-3 (1.49, 0.97-2.27), 4-10 (4.07, 2.40- 6.90), 10+ (8.25, 4.57-14.91) versus zero times; sexual harassment 1-3 (1.94, 1.30-2.89), 4-10 (3.31, 1.73-6.36), 10+ (9.97, 4.47-22.23) versus zero times; verbal abuse, 10+ versus zero times (3.86, 2.26-6.57); bullying, 10+ versus zero times (3.21, 1.89-5.46). Witnessing persons, other than students, engaged in violence was also important: physical assault 1-3, 4-10+ versus zero times (3.14, 1.67-5.88; 11.61, 1.78- 75.64). Discussion: Teachers were at increased risk for physical assault in environments where they witnessed students and others engaging in violent behaviors. Examination of such environments, in concert with other environmental characteristics, is essential for developing intervention efforts to protect educators and others in schools.
Physiological-effects; Physiological-factors; Physiological-function; Physiological-response; Exposure-levels; Exposure-limits; Humans; Men; Women; Teaching; Education; Workers; Work-environment; Force; Injuries; Risk-factors; Environmental-factors; Environmental-hazards; Environmental-exposure; Questionnaires; Statistical-analysis; Behavior
Publication Date
Document Type
Funding Type
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
Source Name
NOIRS 2008-Abstracts of the National Occupational Injury Research Symposium, October 21-23, 2008, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
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