Severe Mental Illness and Firearm Access

In the United States, severe mental illness is frequently cited as a primary cause of mass shootings and high rates of gun violence. Miranda Lynne Baumann and Brent Teasdale (2018) investigated this relationship by comparing rates of gun violence among 255 recently discharged psychiatric patients and a matched group of 490 community residents. These authors [...]

Your Brain on Violent Video Games

As video games become increasingly violent and realistic, researchers have sought to determine whether – and how—they may affect aggressive behavior. Engelhardt and colleagues tested desensitization theory, which states that repeated exposure to violent images results in a decrease, or habituation, of emotional, cognitive, and physiological responses to violence. The authors measured previous video game [...]

Violence Exposure and Sexual Risk

African American adolescents are at increased risk for violence exposure, which includes being the victim of violence as well as witnessing violence. Wilson and colleagues (2012) observed that few studies have addressed the impact of violence exposure on African American girls. They were particularly interested in the relationship between violence exposure and sexual health, since [...]

Childhood Violence Exposure and Disability

Disability and childhood exposure to violence are interconnected.  Children with disabilities are more likely than nondisabled children to experience violence.  Those with behavioral disorders and language impairments experience the highest rates of abuse.  In addition, children who experience violence are more likely to become disabled. For example, up to one quarter of childhood brain injuries [...]

Resilient Afghan Women Coping with Violence and Immigration

Exposure to war-related violence is a common experience of Afghan women who immigrate to the United States. Although previous research has identified detrimental effects of war-related trauma and displacement on survivors’ mental health, other studies have demonstrated resilience and successful coping strategies.  Welsh and Brodsky (2010) used a mental health checklist and conducted qualitative individual [...]

A Nationwide Trial of the KiVa Antibullying Program

Bullying among youth has been associated with a range of mental health and behavioral problems, including depression, anxiety, poor academic performance, poor school attendance, suicide, and violence. In one of only a few large scale evaluations of bullying interventions, Kärnä, Voeten, Little, Poskiparta, Alanen, and Salmivalli (2011) assessed the effectiveness of the KiVa antibullying program, [...]

Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Victimization in the Military

According to Burks (2011), the provisions of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) have made it challenging to study its effects. DADT (December 1993 – September 2011) barred openly lesbian, gay, or bisexual individuals from military service while at the same time requiring that military officials not initiate investigations of a servicemember’s sexual orientation without sufficient [...]

Psychological Consequences of Exposure to Gang Violence

Gang and community violence is a significant public health risk, with adolescents more likely to be the victims of violence than adults. Kelly (2010) conducted an extensive literature review to investigate the psychological consequences to adolescents of exposure to gang and community violence. She reviewed 103 studies on this topic that were published in peer-reviewed [...]

Third Parties, Violence, and Conflict Resolution

Traditionally, social psychological research has supported the idea that third parties tend to increase disorderly behavior in potentially violent situations and that the likelihood of aggression increases with group size. However, due to practical and ethical considerations, few studies have examined the role of third parties and group size in real world conflict situations. Levine, [...]

Denying Humanness to Others

Previous research has repeatedly supported a connection between playing violent video games and aggressive behavior. Greitemeyer and McLatchie (2011) proposed that the mechanism linking video games and aggression might be dehumanization. In the first of two experiments, students were randomly assigned to one of three conditions in which they played a violent, neutral, or prosocial [...]