How do preschool to year 6 educators prevent and cope with occupational violence from students?

David J. Stevenson, James T. Neill, Kayla Ball, Rebecca Smith, Melena C. Shores

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Student violence directed at school educators appears to be increasing, thus it is important to identify practical strategies that educators use to prevent and cope with occupational violence. This observational study surveyed 369 government primary school staff in the Australian Capital Territory. Sixty per cent of respondents reported abusive language, 42% physical aggression, and 43% experienced other threatening behaviour from students at least weekly. More than one-third of respondents rated the impact of these experiences as moderate or higher. The most effective prevention strategies, according to respondents, were the educator’s response to the threat, focusing on the student’s needs, working collaboratively, and using antecedent control. The most effective coping strategies were debriefing, self-care, and work support. The most helpful sources of support were workplace colleagues, partners, school leaders, and friends. This study offers a solution-focused perspective about what works in preventing and coping with occupational violence from educators’ points of view.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)154-170
Number of pages17
JournalAustralian Journal of Education
Issue number2
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 23 May 2022


Dive into the research topics of 'How do preschool to year 6 educators prevent and cope with occupational violence from students?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this