International Journal of Developmental Science - Volume 8, issue 1-2
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Individual human development is influenced by a multitude of systems, ranging from cultural processes, genetic and physiological incidents up to social interactions. How do these systems cooperate and interact during the course of human development? One of the main goals of Developmental Science is finding an answer to this question.
Since it exceeds the means of researchers from individual scientific disciplines to investigate the simultaneous biopsychosocial changes of systems and how they jointly contribute to the social and adaptive functions of human individuals, a new scientific approach is necessary that links the various traditional scientific disciplines under a biopsychosocial approach to describe individual human development: Developmental Science.
Developmental Science combines concepts and insights from scientific disciplines which hitherto used to independently tackle the research of human and non-human development. As an interdisciplinary approach it examines individuals across the lifespan with the objective of comprehending the development of individuals with different cultural and ethnic as well as biological background, different economic and cognitive potentials and under diverse living conditions. To facilitate the understanding of developmental processes it is also necessary to overcome the disadvantageous separation of “normal” from “abnormal” human development. Thus, the interdisciplinary field of Developmental Science comprises a holistic approach to understanding how different systems interact and influence development throughout life from genetic and physiological processes to social interactions and cultural processes.
International Journal of Developmental Science is especially devoted to research from the fields of Psychology, Genetics, Neuroscience and Biology and provides an interdisciplinary and international forum for basic research and professional application in the field of Developmental Science. The reader will find original empirical or theoretical contributions, methodological and review papers, giving a systematic overview or evaluation of research and theories of Developmental Science and dealing with typical human development and developmental psychopathology during infancy, childhood, adolescence and adulthood. All manuscripts pass through a multilevel peer-review process.
In 2007-2010 (Vol. 1-4) this journal was named
European Journal of Developmental Science. In 2011 its name was changed to
International Journal of Developmental Science.
Abstract: A plethora of studies have appeared which argue that, prior to their attack, the perpetrators of school shootings had experienced intense conflicts and problematic relations (e.g. bullying) with peers and teachers, and were on the periphery of the schools' social life. This in turn resulted in the perpetrators' view of themselves as marginalized victims. However, methodological problems and inconsistencies mark many studies, and findings vary. In an attempt to clarify the role of perpetrators' negative social experiences with peers and teachers prior to their attack, we have undertaken a systematic search of the literature, including 35 international primary studies on…school shootings. In selecting the studies we limited ourselves to ones which deal with at least two (Range: 2–39) cases in which a violent targeted attack was carried out by a current or former student who chose their school or university as the site of the attack. A total of 126 cases (128 perpetrators) from 13 countries (USA, Canada, Germany, Finland, Brazil, Argentina, Australia, Bosnia, Greece, Hungary, Netherlands, Sweden, and Thailand) were examined. The mean age of the perpetrators was 19 (Range: 6–62 years, SD = 8.72), and in 121 cases the perpetrators were males. Detailed information relating on the social dynamics that contributed to the attack was found in 67 case reports. Our analysis revealed that in 88.1% of cases the future perpetrator experienced social conflict within the school environment. A minority of perpetrators (29.9%) were physically bullied, while 53.7% experienced peer rejection, verbal and otherwise. Romantic rejection was only found in 29.9% of cases. Conflicts with teachers (43.3%) proved a decisive factor. In order to better understand the role of social dynamics in the developments leading up to school shootings, it is necessary to analyze the perpetrators' position within their social network and the ways in which they experienced interaction with their peers and others at the school. In addition we must obtain precise information on their views of themselves as victim over a period of time.
Keywords: school shooting, bullying, social rejection, severe targeted school violence, systematic review
Abstract: Bullying, rejection, and social exclusion are often considered key contributing factors in school shootings, but recent studies have questioned their importance. One weakness in the previous research is its almost exclusive focus on U.S. American perpetrators. Therefore, we examined files of inquiry pertaining to seven school shootings in Germany that occurred between 1999 and 2006, with special attention to information on peer and teacher relationships. At the time of the offense, all perpetrators but one had a number of friends and acquaintances and were by no means socially isolated. Most, however, showed changes in their friendship patterns and had problems…with some peers. In only three cases was there evidence of single bullying incidents. All perpetrators had problems with teachers prior to the offense. Our findings question that the results from previous research also apply to other samples. Problems with teachers represent an important risk factor which has been neglected in the research so far. Changes in friendship patterns may likewise constitute a warning sign. Our findings require consideration when developing prevention and intervention measures.
Keywords: school shootings, risk factors, peer relationships, teacher relationships, bullying