Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California


UC San Francisco Previously Published Works bannerUCSF

Rates of Exposure to Victimizing Events and Use of Substances Among California's Middle and High School Students.

  • Author(s): Larson, Satu
  • Brindis, Claire D
  • Chapman, Susan A
  • Spetz, Joanne
  • et al.

Nearly half of 5- to 17-year-olds have experienced trauma in the form of at-school victimization. Exposure to trauma increases students' risk for mental health disorders and school failure. This study reviews at-school victimization in middle and high school students and associated health outcomes that may negatively impact academic outcomes. Analyzing the California Healthy Kids Survey 2010, we examine rates of victimization on school grounds, substance use, and symptoms of depression and eating disorders among a sample of 6th to 12th graders ( N = 639,925). Between 20% and 50% of students had experienced at least one type of victimizing event on school grounds, with the highest incidence in middle schools. A significantly higher share of victimized students reported using substances, symptoms of depression and eating disorders when compared to nonvictimized students. School district investment in school nurses, social workers, and school-based health centers could increase preventive interventions to improve school climate, student well-being, and academic success.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
Current View