Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2018, $300,403)
This project will examine individual-level psycho-social life history of mass shooters and community-level socio-ecological factors to understand the predictors and typologies of mass shootings and inform prevention strategies. Through a mixed-methods approach and framed around the socio-ecological theory of public policy, the authors will expand their ongoing collection of variables that will allow for rigorous and robust examination of individual and community level characteristics of over 150 public mass shootings that took place in the United States between 1966 and 2018.
Specifically, while looking into detailed mental health history, trauma, family history, interest in past shootings, situational triggers pertaining to mass shooters, and other psycho-social variables, the authors will also examine community-level socio-ecological factors of where mass shootings take place, including, but not limited to, measures of social inequality, community mobility, availability of mental health resources, and prevalence of guns in households. The qualitative part of the design will provide a more nuanced examination of the motivations of mass shooters by conducting an in-depth life history interviews with five mass shooters who are currently incarcerated.
Findings will provide an improved understanding of the motivations of mass shooting subjects and provide in- depth context for their actions. Findings will also produce information to better prevent mass shootings, with attention to K-12 schools, colleges and universities, a wide variety of public and private employers, places of worship, and organizers of large public events.
"Note: This project contains a research and/or development component, as defined in applicable law," and complies with Part 200 Uniform Requirements - 2 CFR 200.210(a)(14).