Graduate Program

School Psychology

Degree Name

Specialist in School Psychology

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Lyndsay Jenkins


Violence found in a school setting directed toward teachers, or teacher-directed violence, is considerably understudied, particularly in the United States, with only a handful of studies having been conducted (Espelage et al., 2013; Bounds & Jenkins, 2016). There is limited information about teacher-directed violence in regard to frequency, type, and who is impacted most. In order for policy to be created, researchers need to understand who is being affected and what type of violence teachers experience (Espelage et al., 2013). Additionally, there has been no research in the United States examining how teachers cope with teacher-directed violence. Little is known about to whom teachers reach out for social support and if that social support is effective in moderating teacher stress. Past research demonstrates that teaching is a high-stress occupation (Fimian, 1988), and some of this stress could be related to experiences of violence. The current study examined type and frequency of teacher-directed violence, to whom teachers go for social support, and teachers' perceived effectiveness of social support. The study also examined the potential moderating effect of social support on the relation between teacher-directed violence and stress. Results showed that the most common type of teacher-directed violence was obscene remarks. Follow-up found that female teachers experienced more teacher directed violence than male teachers. Results also found that teacher directed violence was not associated with stress, nor did social support have a buffering effect on teacher-directed violence. Follow-up did not find that any type of social support from different individuals buffered teacher directed violence.