Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Skip to content

Violent Incidents Among Selected Public School Students in Two Large Cities of the South and the Southern Midwest, 1995: [United States]

Metadata Updated: November 28, 2023

This study of violent incidents among middle- and high-school students focused not only on the types and frequency of these incidents, but also on their dynamics -- the locations, the opening moves, the relationship between the disputants, the goals and justifications of the aggressor, the role of third parties, and other factors. For this study, violence was defined as an act carried out with the intention, or perceived intention, of physically injuring another person, and the "opening move" was defined as the action of a respondent, antagonist, or third party that was viewed as beginning the violent incident. Data were obtained from interviews with 70 boys and 40 girls who attended public schools with populations that had high rates of violence. About half of the students came from a middle school in an economically disadvantaged African-American section of a large southern city. The neighborhood the school served, which included a public housing project, had some of the country's highest rates of reported violent crime. The other half of the sample were volunteers from an alternative high school attended by students who had committed serious violations of school rules, largely involving illegal drugs, possession of handguns, or fighting. Many students in this high school, which is located in a large city in the southern part of the Midwest, came from high-crime areas, including public housing communities. The interviews were open-ended, with the students encouraged to speak at length about any violent incidents in school, at home, or in the neighborhood in which they had been involved. The 110 interviews yielded 250 incidents and are presented as text files, Parts 3 and 4. The interview transcriptions were then reduced to a quantitative database with the incident as the unit of analysis (Part 1). Incidents were diagrammed, and events in each sequence were coded and grouped to show the typical patterns and sub-patterns in the interactions. Explanations the students offered for the violent-incident behavior were grouped into two categories: (1) "justifications," in which the young people accepted responsibility for their violent actions but denied that the actions were wrong, and (2) "excuses," in which the young people admitted the act was wrong but denied responsibility. Every case in the incident database had at least one physical indicator of force or violence. The respondent-level file (Part 2) was created from the incident-level file using the AGGREGATE procedure in SPSS. Variables in Part 1 include the sex, grade, and age of the respondent, the sex and estimated age of the antagonist, the relationship between respondent and antagonist, the nature and location of the opening move, the respondent's response to the opening move, persons present during the incident, the respondent's emotions during the incident, the person who ended the fight, punishments imposed due to the incident, whether the respondent was arrested, and the duration of the incident. Additional items cover the number of times during the incident that something was thrown, the respondent was pushed, slapped, or spanked, was kicked, bit, or hit with a fist or with something else, was beaten up, cut, or bruised, was threatened with a knife or gun, or a knife or gun was used on the respondent. Variables in Part 2 include the respondent's age, gender, race, and grade at the time of the interview, the number of incidents per respondent, if the respondent was an armed robber or a victim of an armed robbery, and whether the respondent had something thrown at him/her, was pushed, slapped, or spanked, was kicked, bit, or hit with a fist or with something else, was beaten up, was threatened with a knife or gun, or had a knife or gun used on him/her.

Access & Use Information

Restricted: This dataset can only be accessed or used under certain conditions. License: us-pd

Downloads & Resources


Metadata Created Date August 18, 2021
Metadata Updated Date November 28, 2023

Metadata Source

Harvested from DOJ JSON

Additional Metadata

Resource Type Dataset
Metadata Created Date August 18, 2021
Metadata Updated Date November 28, 2023
Publisher National Institute of Justice
Identifier 2782
Data First Published 1998-12-10T00:00:00
Language eng
Data Last Modified 2012-08-22T08:55:57
Rights These data are restricted due to the increased risk of violation of confidentiality of respondent and subject data.
Public Access Level restricted public
Bureau Code 011:21
Metadata Context
Metadata Catalog ID
Schema Version
Catalog Describedby
Harvest Object Id e0f84529-d6f1-471f-8085-39057ea5bb6c
Harvest Source Id 3290e90a-116f-42fc-86ac-e65521ef3b68
Harvest Source Title DOJ JSON
Program Code 011:060
Publisher Hierarchy Office of Justice Programs > National Institute of Justice
Source Datajson Identifier True
Source Hash 6ff7315a2a0d360ec8b79366102588e3cf640c872c68a121530f90e2671e0124
Source Schema Version 1.1

Didn't find what you're looking for? Suggest a dataset here.