Psychological profiles of school shooters: positive directions and one big wrong turn.

Ferguson, C and Coulson, Mark and Barnett, Jane (2011) Psychological profiles of school shooters: positive directions and one big wrong turn. Journal of Police Crisis Negotiations, 11 . pp. 1-17. ISSN 1533-2586

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A wave of school shooting in the mid to late 1990s led to great interest in attempts to “profile” school shooters with an eye both on identifying imminent perpetrators and preventing further incidents. Given that school shootings are generally rare, and many perpetrators are killed during their crimes, the availability of school shooters for research is obviously limited. Not surprisingly, initial profiles of school shooters were arguably of limited value. Although school shooting incidents, particularly by minors, have declined, some evidence has emerged to elucidate the psychological elements of school shooting incidents. School shooting incidents may follow extreme versions of etiological pathways seen for less extreme youth violence, and youthful school shooters appear more similar than different to adult perpetrators of mass shootings. The quest to understanding school shootings has led to several wrong turns, most notably the quixotic desire by politicians, advocates and some scholars to link both school shootings and less extreme youth violence to playing violent video games, despite considerable and increasing evidence to the contrary.

Item Type:Article
Research Areas:School of Science and Technology > Psychology
School of Science and Technology > Forensic Psychology Research Group
School of Science and Technology > Psychology > Applied Health Psychology group
ID Code:7784
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Deposited On:28 Apr 2011 08:37
Last Modified:10 Oct 2014 11:13

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