The pathway to violence and public mass shooters in mental health treatment before attacks
Article publication date: 15 December 2021
Issue publication date: 20 January 2022
The purpose of this study is to provide mental health practitioners with a framework for conceptualizing individuals who may be at risk of targeted violence, mass shootings in particular.
Through the lens of the Path to Intended Violence model, a non-experimental descriptive design was chosen to explore the characteristics and behaviors of perpetrators who had engaged in mental health treatment within six months before their attacks.
The perpetrators in this study demonstrated behaviors included in each of the stages of the Path to Intended Violence model. Thus, it may be important for practitioners to be familiar with this model, especially the earlier stages, to potentially identify and intervene with individuals who may be at risk of committing mass violence.
This paper highlights how the Path to Intended Violence model can provide practitioners with a framework for identifying progressive warning signs in patients and how to take action to stop them from continuing their journey toward violence.
The opinions and assertions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Uniformed Services University or the Department of Defense.
Funding: This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Declaration of competing interest: All authors declare to have no conflict of interest.
Cowan, R.G. and Cole, R. (2022), "The pathway to violence and public mass shooters in mental health treatment before attacks", Safer Communities, Vol. 21 No. 1, pp. 31-44. https://doi.org/10.1108/SC-05-2021-0020
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