U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Space-time Study of Youth and School Violence STARS for Schools

NCJ Number
Date Published
June 2020
54 pages

This large-scale, mixed-methods study used the concept of space-time windows of assault risk to determine how students’ surroundings and experiences over the school day related to the likelihood of becoming a victim of assault.


The study population consisted of adolescents between the ages of 12-18 years old who lived and attended school in Philadelphia and were involved as either a victim or perpetrator in a violent school-related assault, altercation, or fight in the 6 months before they were interviewed. Students were excluded from participation if their injury was due to self-harm or domestic abuse; they exhibited extreme illness or impaired cognitive ability unrelated to their qualifying assault; the parents had no reachable home or cellular phone to obtain consent and schedule an interview; who were outside of Philadelphia for all or part of the period in which daily activities would be reported; or if they were currently incarcerated. Students with a mental or physical disability were purposefully not excluded from the study to ensure representation of a key demographic population who face bullying and violence in schools. Eligible students were identified through a combination of healthcare, nonprofit, and educational institutions throughout Philadelphia. Children ages 12-18 who entered the emergency department with a series of chief complaints on their medical chart, including but not limited to “assault,” were approached about the study and screened to determine whether their injury was caused by a school-related injury. A total of 64 children participated in a one-time, in-person interview. The interviews and data analyses reported indicated how students’ activities, the people with whom they interacted, and their location pertained to their risk of or protection from violence during the school day. Extensive tables and figures and 28 references

Date Published: June 1, 2020