School shootings have received a substantial amount of media attention and there have been a variety of explanations proposed as to their cause. While completed school shootings have been evaluated extensively, little research has been done into school shootings that have been averted, and even fewer studies have evaluated between group differences between completed and averted school shootings. The purpose of the present study was to assess the differences in completed and averted school shootings primarily with respect to the age of the perpetrators, the number of perpetrators, and participation in leakage warning behaviors. Additional demographic variables were assessed with respect to characteristics of the perpetrators themselves, in addition variables related to the school setting. A completed case was classified as one that involved at least one injury and an averted case was classified as any case prevented prior to any injury. A total of 264 cases were evaluated in this study, 172 of which were classified as completed and 92 of which were averted. Results indicate that age, number of perpetrators, and participation in leakage warning behavior were all predictors of whether a school shooting attempt was completed. In a logistic regression, considering all of these variables relative contributions, only leakage warning behavior served as a significant predictor of group membership. This has been the first study to compare variables related to completed and averted school shootings. Future prevention efforts should focus on increasing knowledge around the signs of leakage warning behavior to increase detection and aversion of future attempts.
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Master of Science (M.S.)
College of Sciences
Psychology; Clinical Psychology
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Winch, Ashley, "An Evaluation of the Differences Between Perpetrators in Completed and Averted School Shootings" (2021). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2020-. 785.
Restricted to the UCF community until August 2021; it will then be open access.