Values as protective factors against violent behavior in Jewish and Arab high schools in Israel

Child Dev. May-Jun 2008;79(3):652-67. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2008.01149.x.


This study tested the hypothesis that values, abstract goals serving as guiding life principles, become relatively important predictors of adolescents' self-reported violent behavior in school environments in which violence is relatively common. The study employed a students-nested-in-schools design. Arab and Jewish adolescents (N = 907, M age = 16.8), attending 33 Israeli schools, reported their values and their own violent behavior. Power values correlated positively, and universalism and conformity correlated negatively with self-reported violent behavior, accounting for 12% of the variance in violent behavior, whereas school membership accounted for 6% of the variance. In schools in which violence was more common, power values' relationship with adolescents' self-reported violence was especially positive, and the relationship of universalism with self-reported violence was especially negative.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior / ethnology
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Arabs / ethnology*
  • Attitude / ethnology
  • Beneficence
  • Cross-Cultural Comparison
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Israel / epidemiology
  • Jews / ethnology*
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Models, Psychological
  • Philosophy
  • Power, Psychological
  • Psychology, Adolescent*
  • Social Conformity
  • Social Values / ethnology*
  • Students / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Violence* / ethnology
  • Violence* / prevention & control