Perpetrators of mass homicides have often been believed to have experienced certain events in their childhoods that may have led to their crimes. Among the issues that were considered in this study were childhood trauma, which included abuse history, and history of childhood bullying. Another issue that was examined was whether they played violent video games as a child. Exposure to these variables were compared between a sample of 169 male firearm mass homicide perpetrators and preexisting research samples of the same age and gender who had not committed mass murders. Analyses were preregistered. Hypotheses that were tested included whether mass homicide perpetrators had experienced more childhood abuse, more childhood bullying or played more violent video games compared to matched samples. Results suggest that mass homicide perpetrators had experienced more abuse than other individuals, but not bullying. By contrast, mass homicide perpetrators had played fewer violent video games than had matched samples. These results seem to match previous data on mass homicide perpetrators.
Welcome to the Journal of Mass Violence Research
The Journal of Mass Violence Research (JMVR) aims to share rigorous, multidisciplinary, peer-reviewed studies related to different facets of mass violence in the U.S. and beyond. With a focus on public research and accessibility, JMVR seeks to promote high-quality scholarship and authors, disseminate findings via articles, videos, and infographics, and generate academic and public interest in this important research area.
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This research note provides an exploratory examination of female mass shooters in the United States between 1979 and 2019. Specifically, this work provides descriptive statistics of perpetrator, motivation, and incident characteristics. Findings indicate female mass shooters more closely align with male mass shooters than general female homicide and mass murder offenders. The most valuable findings indicate female mass shooters are not motivated by relationship disputes, they often target the workplace, and they are more likely to work in dyads, especially when engaging in ideologically motivated attacks. A discussion of findings provides insight for mass shooting and gender scholars, as well as practitioners seeking to understand female involvement in mass shootings.
The Parkland school shooting that occurred on February 14, 2018, ranks among the deadliest high school shootings in recorded history with 17 injuries and 17 casualties. Like other mass school shootings, this event garnered extensive media coverage, but little research has been conducted to examine how media framing for this event compares with previous school shootings. This study examines the framing of the Parkland school shooting by location over time using the Social Coping Model, which describes how collectives cope with and heal from traumatic events. Specifically, this study compares frames of front-page news articles from three local news outlets and three national outlets across three time periods in the immediate aftermath of the shooting. The results indicate the coverage of the Parkland shooting was similar to previous shootings, but the results also suggest a shift in media coverage. The implications for this shift are explored in the context of a changing media landscape while also noting the importance of the Social Coping Model towards understanding the dynamic process of framing school shootings.
Mass violence is a growing concern across the United States and around the world, and it affects millions of lives. The editors and the editorial board understand the importance of using a multidisciplinary, research-focused approach to define and measure the problem, identify and evaluate prevention and intervention efforts, and expand the body of knowledge to ultimately inform policies and programs related to mass violence.
The editors and editorial board of JMVR recognize that the issue of mass violence is one that spans many disciplines, including criminology and criminal justice, public health, sociology, psychology, and more. By offering a variety of perspectives and methodological approaches, we envision the journal to be one that provides a comprehensive framework through which to understand the problem of the mass violence. The journal is unique in that it addresses the many facets of mass violence in addition to perpetration, such as the victimization perspective, individual or societal effects, law enforcement responses, prevention efforts, and more.
To do this, JMVR also aims to address current conditions and practices that often stifle the sharing of information and research findings. Rather than paywalling research that has meaningful implications for practice, the journal provides full open-access free of charge to authors and readers. Additionally, the focus on public research encourages authors to produce easily digestible summaries of the studies in the form of infographics or short videos. This allows for the open sharing of research with the public, the media, policymakers, and practitioners to generate conversation and interest with the common goal of reducing and preventing instances of mass violence.
Driven by our Guiding Principles, the journal intends to re-envision the submission and production process, offering productive reviews, providing timely decisions to authors, and ensuring linguistic and intellectual access to findings all while still ensuring that all research is vetted through a rigorous review process. Additionally, we aim to create a culture of inclusivity and diversity, especially supporting and promoting early career researchers and authors, LGBTQ+ scholars, women, and scholars of color. We believe that these practices and principles will allow for the promotion of science in a time when it is desperately needed and address one of the most profound, tragic problems in our society.