Perspectives in Psychiatric Care
PROBLEM: Youth violence research often focuses on risk factors arising from early familial interactions rather than school-related factors. METHODS: Via an Internet questionnaire, 282 girls and boys (ages 7-19, mean 15.3) from 47 states and Washington, DC, reported on school connectedness, interpersonal relationships, and anger behaviors. FINDINGS: Substantial percentages of violent youth did not perceive themselves to be liked by classmates and reported loneliness. If not liked by classmates, 80% hated school. Likers and haters of school differed on seven variables (all p < or = .01). CONCLUSIONS: Insufficient attention is paid to the alienation experienced by disliked and lonely students. Mental health nurses could play a pivotal role in fostering change in the social climate of schools and helping youth to achieve better anger management and social skills.
Thomas, S.P., & Smith, H. (2004). School connectedness, anger behaviors, and relationships of violent and nonviolent youth. Perspectives in Psychiatric Care, 40, 135-148.