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Shared Struggles? Cumulative Strain Theory and Public Mass Murders From 1990 to 2014

NCJ Number
Date Published
James Silver, John Horgan, Paul Gill
This study responded to scholars’ urging that research on mass murder shift from the creation of typologies to theoretically rich, data-driven comparative examinations of the phenomenon.
This study redressed such calls in two ways. First, it analyzed a unique sample of public mass murderers with the multistage explanatory model of cumulative strain theory. Second, it used a comparison group of similarly violent offenders—lone-actor terrorists—to provide context to the study findings. The results demonstrate that cumulative strain theory usefully describes the trajectory toward violence by public mass murderers, more so when a concept implicit in the theory—grievance—is made explicit. (Publisher abstract modified)
Date Created: December 11, 2018