STUDY ALERT: Exploring school rampage shootings: Research, theory, and policy

December 16, 2012 in Study Alerts

Exploring school rampage shootings: Research, theory, and policy 

Michael Rocque

This paper examines US school rampage shootings, focusing on the period from the late 20th century to the present. School rampage shootings are thought to be distinct from other forms of violence because of the relatively safe rural setting in which most of these events occur, the lack of specified individual targets, and the number of deaths involved. While this type of violence seems to have spiked in the mid-1990s, school violence in general and school shootings in particular have occurred throughout the history of formal education. Research shows that certain elements of school rampage shootings are unique, while others do not distinguish them from more common forms of violence. For the most part, theory development is still nascent, with the most advanced explanations relying on psychological factors. Finally, interventions have generally been guided by situational crime prevention rather than theories about why violence occurs in school. This paper argues that more research is needed before firm policy conclusions can be made.

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(h/t Vaughan Bell)

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