Ron Avi Astor
Professor, Richard M. and Ann L. Thor Professor in Urban Social Development (Social Work)
PhD, University of California, Berkeley
Expert in school violence and bullying across cultures Military Connected Public Schools
- State of Michigan: Licensed Psychologist
- State of Michigan: Certified Social Worker
- State of California: Pupil Personnel Services Credential: School Psychology Credential
Ron Avi Astor holds joint appointments in the USC School of Social Work and USC Rossier School of Education. His work examines the role of the physical, social-organizational and cultural contexts in schools related to different kinds of school violence (e.g., sexual harassment, bullying, school fights, emotional abuse, weapon use, teacher/child violence). Astor's studies have included tens of thousands of schools and millions of students, teachers, parents and administrators. Over the past 10 years, findings from these studies have been published in more than 150 scholarly manuscripts. Read Bio
Current Major Grant #1
Welcoming Practices that Address Transition Needs of Military Students in Public Schools
Welcoming Practices that Address Transition Needs of Military Students in Public Schools (Social Work Hamovitch Research Center)
Principal Investigators: Ron Avi Astor
Period: 09/01/13 - 08/31/17
Total Award: $4,994,003
A consortium of five school districts will partner with the University of Southern California to develop strategies and resources to address the needs of students from military families who are transitioning to new public schools.
Research has indicated that military children attend an average of six to nine different schools. Students who transition frequently have many needs. Five school districts composed of approximately 110 schools will partner with the University of Southern California to comprehensively address the transition needs of military students. Each district will organize transition teams and resource centers to coordinate the transition process. The Transitions into Welcoming Schools Consortium will develop a suite of electronic applications to support transitions. This suite of computer, iPad, ePad, and smartphone applications will ensure that students and parents are informed of all required documentation and relevant eligibility criteria before they arrive to the district; connect them with school, district, and community supports; and provide reminders of referrals and appointments. Staff development will support the effectiveness of transition teams and centers and the use of electronic transition supports. The project will increase school engagement and belonging, academic achievement, and the well-being of transitioning military students and parents. It will enhance awareness of the needs of transitioning military students and families and spread best practices and technologies developed by the consortium across the nation.
Department of Defense Educational Activity DODEA (subaward via Chula Vista Elementary School District)
Co-Principal Investigator: Tamika Gilreath, USC School of Social Work
Evaluator: Rami Benbenishty, Bar Ilan University
Current Major Grant #2
Building Capacity to Create Highly Supportive Military-Connected School Districts: (Social Work Hamovitch Rsearch Center).
Principal Investigator: Ron Avi Astor,
Co PI's: Marleen Wong, Rami Benbenishty (Bar Ilan University)
Period: 06/14/10 - 08/31/14
Total Award: $7,600,000
Funding: Fallbrook Union Elementary School District, Department of Defense Education Activity
This project will integrate local school data, community supports, evidence-based programs, and empowerment strategies to promote positive social and academic climates in eight military-impacted school districts in San Diego County.
The goals of this project are to ease the challenges that military students face due to transitions and deployments; support the social and emotional needs of military students; encourage parental involvement; and create infrastructure and evidence-based materials for state and national data-driven Military Connected School (MCS) system. The project will serve a total of 117,035 students in 149 schools with an estimated 11,818 military-connected students.
Department of Defense Education Activity DODEA (subaward via Fallbrook Union Elementary School District)
- National Association of Social Workers
- National Association of School Psychologists
- American Psychological Association
- Council on Social Work Education
- American Education Research Association
- Society for Research on Child Development
Honors and Awards:
2014 American Educational Research Association National Outstanding Book of the Year Award Committee, Chair
2013 American Educational Research Association Award, Advisor for Dissertation of the Year, Division E
2012 American Educational Research Association National Bullying Task Force Co-chair
2012 Military Child Education California Public Living in the New Normal (LINN) Public Engagement Co-chair
2012 Appointed to the National Scientific Advisory Board for Military Child Educational Coalition
2012 American Educational Research Association Fellow
2012 Co-Author/ NASW Task Force Member on National Standards for School Social Work
2011 Promise Award for Integration of Research, Theory and Practice, American Educational Research Association, Conflict Resolution and Cooperative Learning SIG
2011 Society for Social Work Research, Excellence in Research Award
2010 Distinguished Research Award, American Educational Research Association, Division E--Human Development
2007 Distinguished Faculty Member Award from the USC LGBT-Q Student Government Caucus
2007 Outstanding Book Award, American Educational Research Association
2006 William James Book Award, runner up—Honorable Mention, American Psychological Association
2006 Sterling Distinguished Faculty Research Award USC Social Work
2006 Distinguished Research Award, American Educational Research Association, Division E--Human Development
2000 Palmer O. Johnson Award, American Education Research Association, Best Research Article In AERA Journal
1999 Pattishall Award, School of Education (faculty research award), University of Michigan
1997-1999 National Academy of Education/Spencer Fellowship
1997-1998 Fulbright Senior Scholar Fellowship to Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel, (10-month grant)
1995-1998 National Institute of Mental Health, Instrument Development for Poverty and Violence Research Project
1992 Employee of the year 1992, The Children's Health Council (affiliated with Stanford University), Palo Alto, CA.
1991 University of California, Berkeley, Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award
1990 H.F. Guggenheim Foundation Dissertation Fellowship
- Gilreath, T.D., Astor, R.A., Estrada, J.N., Benbenishty, R., & Unger, J. B. (2014). School victimization and substance use among adolescents in California. Prevention Science. doi: 10.1007/s11121-013-0449-8
- De Pedro, K.T., Esqueda, M.C., Cederbaum, J.A., & Astor, R.A. (in press). District, school, and community stakeholder perspectives on the experiences of military-connected students. Teachers’ College Record.
- Estrada, J.N., Gilreath, T.D., Astor, R. A., & Benbenishty, R. (in press). A statewide study of gang membership and violent behaviors in California secondary schools. Youth & Society.
- De Pedro, K.T., Astor, R.A., Gilreath, T.D., Benbenishty, R., & Esqueda, M.C. (in press). School climate perceptions among students in military-connected schools: A comparison of military and non-military students from the same schools. Military Behavioral Health Journal.
- Pitner, R.O., Astor, R.A., Benbenishty, R. (in press). Violence in schools. In P.A. Meares (Ed.) Social work services in schools, seventh edition. Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.
- Pitner, R.O., Marachi, R., Astor, R.A., & Benbenishty R, & (in press). Evidence-based violence prevention programs and best implementation practices. In A.R. Roberts (Ed). Social worker’s desk reference, 3rd Edition. N.Y. Oxford University Press.
- Benbenishty, R., & Astor, R.A. (2014). Children's victimization in school. In: Michalos AC (Ed.). Encyclopedia of Quality of Life and Well-Being Research. Springer, Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer, 803-809.
- De Pedro, K.T., Atuel, H., Malchi, K., Esqueda, M. C., Benbenishty, R., & Astor, R. A. (2014). Responding to the needs of military students and military-connected schools: The perceptions and actions of school administrators. Children and Schools.
- Gilreath, T. D., Estrada, J. N., Pineda, D., Benbenishty, R., & Astor, R. (2014) Development and use of the California Healthy Kids Survey Military Module to support students in military-connected schools. Children and Schools.
- Astor R. A. and Benbenishty R. (2014). Supporting military-connected students: The role of school social work. Children and Schools.
- Berkowitz, R., De Pedro, K.T., Couture, J., Benbenishty, R., & Astor, R.A. (2014). Military parents’ perceptions of public school supports for heir children. Children and Schools.
- Cederbaum, J.A, Malchi, K., Esqueda, M. C., Benbenishty. R., Atuel, H.R., & Astor, R. A. (2014). Student-instructor assessments: Examining the skills and competencies of social work students placed in military-connected schools. Children and Schools.
- Esqueda, M. C., Cederbaum, J. A., Malchi, K., Pineda, D., Benbenishty, R., & Astor, R. (2014). The military social work fieldwork placement: An analysis of the time and activities graduate student interns provide military-connected schools. Children and Schools.
- Gilreath, T.D., Astor, R.A., Cederbaum, J.A., Atuel, H.R., & Benbenishty, R. (2013). School violence and victimization among military connected youth. Preventive Medicine. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ypmed.2013.12.002
- Estrada, J.N., Gilreath, T.D., Astor, R. A., & Benbenishty, R. (2013). Gang membership, school violence, and the mediating effects of risk and protective behaviors in California high schools: Journal of School Violence. doi:10.1080/15388220.2013.846860
- Cederbaum, J.A., Gilreath, T.D., Benbenishty, R., Astor, R.A., & Pineda, D., De Pedro, K.T., Esqueda, M.C., & Atuel, H.R. (2013). Wellbeing and suicidal ideation of public middle/high school students by military-connectedness. Journal of Adolescent Health. DOI: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2013.09.006
- Astor, R.A., De Pedro, K., Gilreath, T., Esqueda, M., & Benbenishty, R. (2013). The promotional role of community, school, family, and peer contexts for military students in wartime. Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review. DOI 10.1007/s10567-013-0139-x
- Astor, R.A., Cornell, D.G., Espelage, D.L., Furlong, M.J., Jimerson, S.R., Mayer, M.G. et al. (2013). A call for more effective prevention of violence. The School Psychologist, 67(2), 40-43.
- Interdisciplinary Group on Preventing School and Community Violence (2013): December 2012 Connecticut School Shooting Position Statement. Journal of School Violence, 12(2), 119-133.
- Estrada, J. N., Gilreath, T., Astor, R. A., & Benbenishty, R. (2013). Gang membership of California middle school students: Behaviors and attitudes as mediators of school violence. Health Education Research. Advance Access published March 22. 2013, doi:10.1093/her/cyt037,
- Gilreath, T.D., Astor, R.A., Estrada, J.N., Johnson, R., Benbenishty, R., & Unger, J.B. (2013). Substance use among adolescents in California: A latent class analysis. Substance Use and Misuse. doi: 10.3109/10826084.2013.824468
- Gilreath, T.D., Cederbaum, J.A., Astor, R.A., Benbenishty, R., Pineda, D., & Atuel, H. (2013). Substance use among military-connected youth: The California Healthy Kids Survey. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 44(2), 150-153.
- American Educational Research Association. (2013). Prevention of bullying in schools, colleges, and universities: Research report and recommendations. Washington, DC: American Educational Research Association. (Astor, R.A., Co-Chair with Espelage D.)
- Astor, R.A. Military kids at higher risk of suicidal thoughts. (2013, December). Huffington Post. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ron-avi-astor/military_kids_b_4318573.html
- Astor, R.A., Creating the schools we want for our children. (2013, December). Education Week. http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/op_education/2013/12/creating_the_schools_we_want_f.html
- Esqueda, M., Astor, R.A. & De Pedro, K. (2012). A call to duty: Educational policy and school reform addressing the needs of children from military families. Educational Researcher, 41, 65-70.
- Astor, R. A., Jacobson, L., Benbenishty, R., Pineda, D., Atuel, H., Gilreath, T., Wong, M., De Pedro, K. M., Esqueda, M. C., & Estrada, J. N. (2012). A pupil personnel guide to creating supportive schools for military students. New York: Columbia University, Teachers College Press.
- Astor, R.A. Will candidates let returning troops fall off the fiscal cliff? (2012, October). CNN.COM. Retrieved from http://www.cnn.com/2012/10/03/opinion/astor-vets-candidates/index.html?hpt=op_t1
- Astor, R.A. Making Universities and Colleges More Military Friendly (2012, October). Huffington Post. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ron-avi-astor/veterans-college- education-_b_1958796.html
- Astor, R.A. Educational opportunity for military children (2012, March). Huffington Post. Editorial. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ron-avi-astor/military-children-education_b_1386074.html
- Astor, R.A., Meyer-Reynolds, H., Benbenishty, R., Pat-Horenczyk, R., Brom, D., Baum, N., Schiff, M. & De Pedro, K. (2012). The influence of the Second Lebanon-Israeli War on Israeli students in urban school settings: Findings from the Nahariya District-wide screening process. In Gallagher, K.S., Goodyear, R., Brewer, D., & Rueda, R (Eds.) Urban education: A model for leadership and policy. (pp. 218-240). New York: Routledge.
- Benbenishty, R., & Astor, R. A. (2012). Making the case for an international perspective on school violence: Implications for theory, research, policy, and assessment. In S. R. Jimerson, A.B. Nickerson, M.J. Mayer & M. J. Furlong (Eds). Handbook of school violence and school safety: International research and practice, Second Edition. (pgs. 15-26) New York: Routledge.
- Astor, R. A., Jacobson, L., Benbenishty, R., Atuel, H., Gilreath, T., Wong, M., De Pedro, K. M., Esqueda, M. C., & Estrada, J. N. (2012). A school administrator’s guide to creating supportive schools for military students. New York: Columbia University, Teachers College Press.
- Benbenishty, R., & Astor, R. A. (2012). Monitoring school violence in Israel, National studies and beyond: Implications for theory, practice, and policy. In S. R. Jimerson, A.B. Nickerson, M.J. Mayer & M. J. Furlong (Eds). Handbook of school violence and school safety: International research and practice. Second Edition. (pgs. 191-202) New York: Routledge.
- Astor, R. A., Jacobson, L., Benbenishty, R., Atuel, H., Gilreath, T., Wong, M., De Pedro, K. M., Esqueda, M. C., & Estrada, J. N. (2012). A teacher’s guide to supporting military students in the classroom. New York: Columbia University, Teachers College Press.
- Astor, R. A., Jacobson, L., Benbenishty, R., Cederbaum, J., Atuel, H., Gilreath, T., Wong, M., De Pedro, K. M., Esqueda, M. C., & Estrada, J. N. (2012). A military parent’s guide to supporting their children in School. New York: Columbia University, Teachers College Press.
- Chen, J.K. & Astor, R.A. (2012). School Variables as Mediators of Personal and Family Factors on School Violence in Taiwanese Junior High Schools.Youth & Society, 44(2), 175-200.
- Marachi, R., Astor, R.A. & Benenishty, R. (2012). An overview of best violence prevention practices in schools. In C. Franklin, M.B. Harris & P.A. Meares (Eds). The school services sourcebook, Second Edition. New York: Oxford University Press.
- Schiff, M., Pat-Horenczyk, R., Benbenishty, R., Brom, D., Baum, N. & Astor, R.A. (2012). High school students posttraumatic symptoms, substance use and violence perpetration in the aftermath of war. Social Science and Medicine, 75(7), 1321-1328
- Chen, J. K. & Astor, R.A. (2011). School engagement, risky peer, and student-teacher relationships as mediators of school violence in Taiwanese vocational vs. academically oriented high schools. Journal of Community Psychology, 39 (1), 10-30.
- De Pedro, K., Astor, R.A., Benbenishty, R, Estrada, J.N., Smith, G.A., Esqueda, M.C. (2011). The children of military service members: Challenges, resources, and future educational research. Review of Educational Research, 81 (4), 566-618.
- Astor, R.A., Benbenishty, R., Shadmy, H., Raz, T., Algersy, E., Zeharia, M., Ratner, D., & De Pedro, K. (2011). No school left behind: merging Israel’s national academic and school safety monitoring system and matching data-driven interventions for each school (Chapter 8). In J.S. Hoffman , L. Knox & R. Cohen (EDs.) Beyond Suppression: Global Perspectives on Youth Violence (Part of Global Crime and Justice. Graeme R. Newman, Series Editor). Santa Barbara CA. Praeger.
- Astor, R.A. & Benbenisthy, R.(avril-juin 2011). Supervision de la violence en milieu scolaire en Israël. L'école face au défi de la sécurité : Cahiers de la sécurité, 16, 150-162, Institut national des hautes études de la sécurité et de la justice (INHESJ).
- Pitner, R.O., Astor, R.A., Benbenishty, R., Haj-Yahia, M., & Zeira, A. (2011) Putting context into a cultural perspective: Examining Arab and Jewish adolescents’ judgments and reasoning about spousal violence. Violence Against Women, 17 (5), 584-602.
- Pat-Horenczyk, R., Brom, D., Baum, N., Benbenishty, R., Schiff, M., & Astor, R.A. (2011). A City-Wide School-Based Model for Addressing the Needs of Children Exposed to Terrorism and War (Chapter 13). In V. Ardino (Ed). Post-traumatic syndromes in children and adolescents. London UK. Wiley/Blackwell Press.
- Astor, R. A. (2011 Commentary). Making sure children from military families are not left behind. Huffington Post.http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ron-avi-astor/making-sure-children-in-m_b_849055.html
- Green J., Furlong, M., Astor, R.A, Benbenishty, R. & Espinoza, E. (2011) Assessing school victimization in the United States, Guatemala, and Israel: Cross-cultural psychometric analysis of the School Victimization Scale. Victims and Offenders, 6 (3), 1-16.
- Chen, J. K. & Astor, R.A. (2011). Students' personal traits, violence exposure, family factors, school dynamics and the perpetration of school violence in Taiwanese elementary schools. Health Education Research. 26(1), 150-166.
- Astor, R. A. (2011 Commentary). The need to support students from military families. Education Week, http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2011/06/08/33astor_ep.h30.html