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NCJ Number: 227015 Find in a Library
Title: Survey of Perceptions of the Virginia Tech Tragedy
Journal: Journal of School Violence  Volume:8  Issue:2  Dated:April-June 2009  Pages:120-135
Author(s): Carolyn R. Fallahi; Carol Shaw Austad; Marianne Fallon; Lisa Leishman
Date Published: April 2009
Page Count: 16
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study investigated reactions of students and faculty at Central Connecticut State University following the Virginia Tech shootings.
Abstract: Findings showed that students and faculty/staff agreed that the most plausible explanation for the Virginia Tech shootings was mental illness and a lack of friendship. They share a world view that such aberrant actions are the result of a diseased mind coupled with alienation from peers and lack of social support and nurturing relationships. Students viewed violent media and violent video games as less plausible causes of school violence than their professors and university administrators. Students may be correct or they may be in denial as to how a rather constant exposure to this media affects them. On the other hand, students readily attributed a lack of parental involvement and guidance, and the lack of quality relationship as a contributing variable to causes of school violence more often than did faculty/staff. Students understand the role of social support and friendship in the maintenance of good mental health as well as the recognition of good parenting. Also found is that as media exposure increases, so do the number of psychiatric symptoms experienced by students. Students exposed to 3 or more hours of news coverage exhibited significantly more psychiatric symptoms than students watching news programs for less than 3 hours. Gender differences tended to follow the sex role stereotypes, with women fearing for their safety more than men both on campus and off, although their level of fear was not high. Faculty and staff indicated that faculty are the first alert to student behavior and should provide referral for students in need; also mentioned was the need for better training on issues of mental illness, school safety, and resources for referral. Data were collected from 312 freshman, sophomores, and juniors, and 237 faculty and staff. Tables and references
Main Term(s): Gun Violence; Mass Violence
Index Term(s): Antisocial attitudes; Higher education; Media violence; Mental health; Mental illness-crime relationships; Students
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