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This study examined the influence of school, surrounding neighbourhood—defined as the area within one-kilometre of a school—and student characteristics on the likelihood of student violent delinquency. Based on data from the International Youth Survey (2006), findings indicated that there was significant variation in violent delinquency among students in grades 7, 8 and 9 across a sample of Toronto schools. This variation was explained primarily by characteristics of the students themselves. However, the school climate, or the perceived atmosphere in the school also explained a statistically significant part of the variation in violence. Moreover, a higher level of school capital (positive feeling toward the school) reduced students' chances of self-reported violent behaviour over and above any of their own risk factors. In contrast, the findings did not support the contention that the level of crime and/or socioeconomic disadvantage in the neighbourhoods surrounding schools had an influence on students' violent behaviour. Explanations for this finding may reflect factors such as the definition of neighbourhood areas used in the study, the greater importance of more immediate environments on students' behaviour, or the possibility that neighbourhood conditions impact students' behaviour indirectly through their influence on factors such as parenting.
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