“Forensic psychologist Jillian Peterson, cofounder of The Violence Project, a think tank dedicated to reducing violence, said mass shooters are typically younger men, channeling their pain and anger through acts of violence and aggression. For many mass shooters, Peterson said, their path to violence begins with early childhood trauma. They often share a sense of “entitlement,” she said — to wealth, power, romance, and success. When they don’t achieve those goals, they become enraged and search for a scapegoat.
But mental illness, she said, is rarely an exclusive motive for mass shooters. In a study published last year, Peterson and her colleagues analyzed a dataset of 172 mass shooters for signs of psychosis — features of schizophrenia and other mood disorders. Although mental illness and psychotic disorders were overrepresented among the mass shooters they studied, Peterson’s study found most mass shooters were motivated by other factors, such as interpersonal conflicts, relationship problems, or a desire for fame.”
In this article, Pan discusses the variety of motivations that often stem from crisis points that cause perpetrators to commit a mass shootings rather than accepting the idea it is only those with mental illness who commit these acts.
Author: Deanna Pan
Source: Boston Globe