Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Psychiatric Profile Of Teenagers At Risk For Committing Violent Acts, School Shootings

Date:
May 7, 2008
Source:
Oregon Health & Science University
Summary:
A psychiatrist will present new research on the psychiatric factors that can lead to school shootings. The presentation will be mainly based on research of the 1999 Columbine high school shootings, which resulted in the deaths of 15 people, including the two students who initiated the attack, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold.

Oregon Health & Science University psychiatrist Jerald Block, M.D., will present new research on the psychiatric factors that can lead to school shootings.*

There have been at least a dozen school shootings in American schools and universities within the past three years, resulting in the deaths of more than 50 students. In 1998 Oregon's Thurston High School in Springfield was the scene of a school shooting in which two students were killed and 25 others wounded.

Block's presentation will be mainly based on his extensive research of the 1999 Columbine high school shootings, which resulted in the deaths of 15 people, including the two students who initiated the attack, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold. Based on diaries and police records, Block authored a July 2007 article for the American Journal of Forensic Psychiatry titled "Lessons from Columbine: Virtual and Real Rage." Block will also briefly discuss the role of technology in the Red Lake (2005), Virginia Tech (2007), Jokela High School (2007), and North Illinois (2008) school shootings.

The paper on Columbine examines the many factors that may have influenced the shooters and specifically highlights the role that technology played in the tragedy. Prior to the shootings, both teenagers spent a significant amount of time playing first-person-shooter computer games and creating game levels for others to use. In his paper, Block suggests that these virtual worlds became essential for the teens. Block notes that Harris and Klebold may have been unable to distinguish the boundaries between their virtual lives and their real lives, in effect mixing the two.

"Virtual realities, like the ones that Harris and Klebold experienced, are a double-edged sword," explained Block, a clinical faculty member in the OHSU Department of Psychiatry. "On one hand, virtual worlds allow people to feel connected and empowered. They also allow participants to escape stress and have an outlet for aggression. On the other hand, when a heavy user must eliminate or cut back on the virtual, as was the case with these two killers at times, the user can feel lonely, anxious, or angry. In some ways, virtual reality is similar to alcohol. In moderation it can be healthy or even helpful. In excess it can be destructive and isolating. And, when a person goes 'dry,' the situation can turn dangerous."

During the APA meeting, two other experts will join Dr. Block in presenting information about school shootings. Katherine Newman, the Malcolm Forbes Class of 1941 Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs from Princeton University, will speak about the communities where school shootings occur and whether we can predict and prevent these tragedies. FBI Special Agent Terri Royster will discuss the FBI's procedure for assessing school shooting threats.

This is the second presentation within the past three months in which Block has commented on a psychiatric issue with widespread public impacts. In March 2008 Block's editorial on the widespread problem of Internet addiction received international media attention.

*Block's presentation, which is part of a panel discussion that he is chairing, will take place on Tuesday, May 6, during the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association (APA) in Washington, D.C.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Oregon Health & Science University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Oregon Health & Science University. "Psychiatric Profile Of Teenagers At Risk For Committing Violent Acts, School Shootings." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 May 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080506141651.htm>.
Oregon Health & Science University. (2008, May 7). Psychiatric Profile Of Teenagers At Risk For Committing Violent Acts, School Shootings. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080506141651.htm
Oregon Health & Science University. "Psychiatric Profile Of Teenagers At Risk For Committing Violent Acts, School Shootings." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080506141651.htm (accessed August 23, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) According to a new study, elderly people might have trouble sleeping because of the loss of a certain group of neurons in the brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Newsy (Aug. 20, 2014) A new study found couples who had at least 150 guests at their weddings were more likely to report being happy in their marriages. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape

Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape

AP (Aug. 20, 2014) Nine years after Hurricane Katrina, charter schools are the new reality of public education in New Orleans. The state of Louisiana took over most of the city's public schools after the killer storm in 2005. (Aug. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

AP (Aug. 19, 2014) Four Texas high school football programs are trying out an experimental system designed to diagnose concussions on the field. The technology is in response to growing concern over head trauma in America's most watched sport. (Aug. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins