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Shared Struggles? Cumulative Strain Theory and Public Mass Murders From 1990 to 2014

NCJ Number
James Silver; John Horgan; Paul Gill
Date Published
October 2018
10 pages
This study responded to scholars' urging that research on mass murder shift from the creation of typologies to theoretically rich, data-driven comparative examinations of the phenomenon.
This study redressed such calls in two ways. First, it analyzed a unique sample of public mass murderers with the multistage explanatory model of cumulative strain theory. Second, it used a comparison group of similarly violent offenderslone-actor terroriststo provide context to the study findings. The results demonstrate that cumulative strain theory usefully describes the trajectory toward violence by public mass murderers, more so when a concept implicit in the theorygrievanceis made explicit. (Publisher abstract modified)