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School Violence: Risk and Protective Factors

School violence isn’t easy to understand. There is no single reason why students become violent. Some are just following behavior they’ve seen at home, in their neighborhoods, or in video games, movies, or television. Sometimes, people who turn violent are victims of bullying who have hit a limit and feel like they would do anything to make it stop. They might feel isolated and rejected by their peers. These are only a few of the reasons why a person may become violent.

Research on youth violence has increased our understanding of factors that make some populations more vulnerable to victimization and perpetration. Risk factors increase the likelihood that a young person will become violent. However, risk factors are not direct causes of youth violence; instead, risk factors contribute to the likelihood of youth violence occurring.1,2

Detailed information about the Risk and Protective Factors associated with youth violence is available.