Tough to predict profile of mass shooter - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Tough to predict profile of mass shooter

Updated: Dec 12, 2013 09:52 AM
© Gary Cornhouse / Photodisc / Thinkstock © Gary Cornhouse / Photodisc / Thinkstock

THURSDAY, Dec. 12, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- No single personality profile or set of warning signs can accurately predict who might commit a mass shooting such as occurred a year ago at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., a new report says.

The authors summarized research on primary and secondary programs meant to prevent gun violence. Primary programs can reduce risk factors for gun violence in the general population. Secondary programs seek to help individual people with emotional problems, or those who have conflicts with others, before they escalate into gun violence.

"In making predictions about the risk for mass shootings, there is no consistent psychological profile or set of warning signs that can be used reliably to identify such individuals in the general population," according to the American Psychological Association (APA) report released Thursday.

This means that primary prevention programs are critical, the authors pointed out.

A promising approach on the individual level is "behavioral threat assessment," which involves identifying and intervening with people who have threatened violence or displayed behavior that suggests they are about to commit violence, the report stated.

The authors also noted that the vast majority of people with mental illnesses are not violent, and despite extensive research, "there is only a moderate ability to identify individuals most likely to commit serious acts of violence."

When a person does use a gun against other people, the act is typically due to the interaction of personal, family, school, peer, community, and social and cultural factors over time, the report said.

While mental health treatment can reduce gun violence, the availability of such care remains "woefully insufficient," according to the authors.

Identifying the best ways to reduce gun violence should be based on scientific evidence, the paper noted.

"This report is an important examination of an urgent problem in our society," APA president Donald Bersoff said in an association news release. "While it points to policies and interventions that can help stem the spread of gun violence, much more research is needed. Psychology can make important contributions to evidence-based solutions that prevent gun violence."

More information

The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence has more about preventing gun violence.

Copyright © 2013 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

*DISCLAIMER*: The information contained in or provided through this site section is intended for general consumer understanding and education only and is not intended to be and is not a substitute for professional advice. Use of this site section and any information contained on or provided through this site section is at your own risk and any information contained on or provided through this site section is provided on an "as is" basis without any representations or warranties.
  • Around the WebMore>>

  • Boston Marathon organizers confident of safe race

    Boston Marathon organizers confident of safe race

    Police stepped up patrols near the Boston Marathon finish line after a masked man walked in the street with a rice cooker in his backpack only hours after the city marked the anniversary of last year's deadly...More >>
    The arrest of a man with a rice cooker in his backpack near the Boston Marathon finish line led police to step up patrols Wednesday, while organizers sought to assure the city and runners of a safe race next week.More >>
  • Low of 19 degrees in Toledo breaks 139-year record

    Low of 19 degrees in Toledo breaks 139-year record

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 6:34 PM EDT2014-04-16 22:34:39 GMT
    TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) - Winter temperatures are refusing to go away in northwestern Ohio. The thermometer dropped to 19 degrees in Toledo Wednesday morning, breaking a 139-year-old record for the same dateMore >>
    TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) - Winter temperatures are refusing to go away in northwestern Ohio. The thermometer dropped to 19 degrees in Toledo Wednesday morning, breaking a 139-year-old record for the same dateMore >>
  • Break-in suspect rescued from Ohio restaurant vent

    Break-in suspect rescued from Ohio restaurant vent

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 6:26 PM EDT2014-04-16 22:26:35 GMT
    MANSFIELD, Ohio (AP) - Police say an Ohio man suspected of breaking into a restaurant overnight became stuck in a ventilation duct, triggered a fire alarm and had to be rescued by emergency responders. TheMore >>
    MANSFIELD, Ohio (AP) - Police say an Ohio man suspected of breaking into a restaurant overnight became stuck in a ventilation duct, triggered a fire alarm and had to be rescued by emergency responders. TheMore >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WFMJ. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms