Recent school violence and the media attention of recent school shootings have heightened public awareness and created a new era of fear among parents, teachers, and students. The consideration of school violence requires an examination of how school violence has affected children at various developmental levels. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to explore elementary school children's fears related to the risk of school violence. Johnson's Behavioral Health Model served as a guide for this research. A descriptive research design was used. Descriptive statistics were used for data analysis. The research question for this study was as follows : What are the self-reported fears of elementary school children regarding the risk of school violence? Fears of school violence were measured using the researcher-designed Children's Feelings About Violence Questionnaire. A convenience sample of 53 third-grade students was chosen from a public elementary school in a rural county in a southern state. Data collection occurred over a split 6-day period during library time. The results demonstrated the children worried most about someone putting a bomb in the school (M = 1.49, SD = .78), followed by fear when an adult talked about people bringing guns to school (M = 1.43, SD = .69). These findings suggest that third-grade children do exhibit fears related to the threat of school violence and that exposure to media and adult conversation about violence can increase those fears. Findings from this study may increase nurse practitioners' awareness of the importance of school-related fears in children. Further research is needed to identify factors that may serve to buffer children from secondary exposure to violence.


Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)


Graduate Nursing

Degree Date


Publication Number


First Advisor

Lorraine Hamm

Second Advisor

Dr. Patricia Smyth

Third Advisor

Kathy McShane

Document Type


Included in

Nursing Commons