Researchers Identify Factors that Contribute to School Shootings

By Staff Writer

Bullying and a lack of available mental health services are two factors that are involved in a student’s decision to turn violent, according to a new study from Michigan State University researchers. Parents who notice these symptoms in their child may consider seeking rehab treatment for them.

In light of the recent shooting in Tucson, Arizona, the researchers said that it is very important to identify characteristics that may contribute to a young adult’s violent behavior. Rather than simply labeling these individuals as disturbed, it may be possible to identify and help these people.

For the study, the researchers examined the life of the 23-year-old Virginia Tech student Seung-Hui Cho, who killed 33 people including himself on campus in 2007. They said that a complicated convergence of bullying, lack of parental involvement and inadequate mental health resources contributed to the violence.

While the study looked specifically at one school shooting, the researchers said that many of those who are involved in these cases seem to share similar experiences. They said that the alleged shooter in the Tucson incident, Jared Loughner, may also have been failed by a lack of mental health services.