Fairness, Social Support, and School Violence: Racial Differences in the Likelihood of Fighting at School


When students feel their teachers or school rules are unfair, support from adults at school mitigates the deleterious impact of perceived injustice on school violence. We test whether there is racial variation in this strain-coping mechanism–antisocial behavior relationship. We document a relationship between perceived school fairness and adult support on fighting among racial minorities but not White students. Among White students, stronger perceptions of school fairness are associated with reduced probabilities of fighting regardless of social support. Among racial minorities, social support buffers the harmful impact of perceived injustice on fighting. Findings show that fair treatment is especially important in the context of low support and support is especially important in the context of unjust treatment for racial minorities.

Publication Title

Crime and Delinquency