Psyhchology And School Shootings Parkview Hs Ap Psychology Research Paper

1566 words - 7 pages

Running head: psychology and school shootings 1
psychology and school shootings 8
Psychology and School Shootings:
How to Address an Epidemic of Violence
Aidan Stewart
Parkview High School
Abstract
This paper will describe a growing societal problem—mass school shootings in the United States. It will describe the psychological science research on what causes certain students to act out in mass school shootings and what steps can be taken to prevent them from doing so. The paper will then propose steps students can take to serve their community (schools) to prevent or reduce the likelihood of a school shooting. This will include students’ need to be mindful of others who seem to have a skewed view of reality and taking action to help out a fellow student. Steps include reporting suspicious behavior to proper authorities as well as reaching out to those who seem to be at risk.
Psychology and School Shootings:
How to Address an Epidemic of Violence
A school shooting is an episode of violence involving a firearm that takes place at an educational institution. In this paper, we will be considering shootings at K-12 schools (not colleges or universities) that are mass rampage shootings, not one-on-one gun violence. We will describe the problem, summarize the research on what causes school shootings and what can be done to prevent them, and propose what steps students can take to serve their community (the school) and help to prevent mass school shootings.
A Growing Problem
Since Columbine – the mass school shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado on April 20, 1999 that left 12 students and 1 teacher dead, the United States has seen a rise in school shootings. The recent attack at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida in February 2018 that left 17 dead and 17 wounded brought the issue to the front page. Chloe Aiello (2018) of CNBC.com noted that in the first 45 days of 2018, there were 17 school shootings in the United States. Clearly, the problem of gun violence in schools is growing. However, though the problem causes widespread panic, some researchers have estimated that the probability for a school shooting is 1 in 1,000,000 (Wike & Fraser, 2009).
When it comes to why school shootings happen and what can be done about them, there is not much psychological research on the mind of a school shooter. Although some school shooters leave behind postings on Facebook and other social media that give their reasons, the fact is that Many of the shooters end up dead by suicide, so researchers do not have the opportunity to examine them and question them about their lives and motives.
Literature Review
Causes
Muschert (2007) points out that there are many reasons why school shooters act out in such a destructive, violent act. They include: mental illness, peer relationship issues, social problems, familial neglect and abuse, psychological problems (using violence to solve problems, poor coping skills), etc. There is no one cause for school...

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