School resources, resource allocation, and risk of physical assault against Minnesota educators

Starr K. Sage, Susan G Gerberich, Andrew Ryan, Nancy M. Nachreiner, Timothy R Church, Bruce H Alexander, Steven J Mongin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

To investigate the relation between schools' resource levels (i.e., annual per student expenditures), school resource allocations, and physical assault (PA) against Minnesota's educators, a study was conducted from the two-phase Minnesota Educators' Study (MES) that incorporated school-level fiscal and demographic data from the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE). The MES examined a randomly selected cohort of employed, state-licensed kindergarten through grade 12 educators. From mailed questionnaires, response rates for both Phase I (comprehensive data collection on violent events) and Phase II (case-control) were 84%. Cases experienced a work-related PA event in the previous 12 months; controls reported no assaults. Based on the school in which they worked the most time and available MDE school-level data, together with MES questionnaire data, analyses were conducted on 238 cases and 640 controls. Multivariate analyses, using directed acyclic graphs to guide selection of confounders, suggested that increased spending (i.e. resources) was associated with decreased risk of PA. Analyses further suggested that the highest quartiles of resource allocations, compared with the lowest quartiles (referents), were associated with decreased risks of PA for: district level administration; regular instruction; special education; student activities and athletics; and pupil support services expenditures. Associations between increased resource allocations to student activities expenditures and decreased risks of PA were the strongest. For example, an allocation greater than 5% of the total annual per student expenditure to student activities programming (referent, less than 0.04%) was associated with a decreased risk of PA (OR = 0.30, 95% CI: 0.12, 0.77). Results suggested that allocations of school resources (i.e., expenditures) to key program areas such as student athletics and extracurricular activities may reduce risk of work-related PA against educators. Research to further explore the nature of the relations between disparities in school resources and spending, resource allocations, and PA will be important to the continued development of relevant prevention strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalAccident Analysis and Prevention
Volume42
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2010

Keywords

  • Educators
  • Occupational violence
  • Physical assault
  • Work-related injury

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