Objective: The literature suggests school structures and socio-cultural environment and the networks within schools play important role in crime and violence among youth. This study aimed to evaluate the prevalence and variation of crime and violence across public high school (HS) types in Istanbul. Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted in May-June, 2010 in Istanbul public HS. The schools and classrooms within schools were selected by stratified random sampling, which recruited approximately 20% of HS population. The survey instrument included questions from European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs (ESPAD) and Youth in Europe Survey (YIE). Turkish translations of both were previously used in research. Trained counselors conducted the surveys and confidentiality was assured by anonymous optic forms. The data were analyzed by SPSS 16. Results: Crime and violence rates were higher in occupational HS, followed by regular and Anatolian HS. However Anatolian HS students reported that more of their friends were involved in crime and violence than that of regular and occupational HS. Regardless of school type violence was more prevalent than crime and students reported use of violence on others more frequently than being a victim of violence. Conclusions: Based on our results crime and violence rates were higher among occupational HS students than regular and Anatolian HS students. This might be related to school structure and resources and socioeconomic status of students. Possibility of attributing different values to crime and violence might explain higher violence rates than crime rates. Considering the findings of this study while developing school policies might be beneficial.
crime, violence, sexual violence, schools, school types, public schools, youth
Article Language: Turkish English