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Abstract

Studies of school shootings have been conducted in a variety of disciplines, including sociology, psychology, and media studies. However, to date there is no unified body of knowledge about such events. In an effort to synthesize past studies, and to orient future studies in school shootings, this article (i) offers a typology for understanding the varieties of school shooting incidents, including rampages, mass murders, terrorist attacks, targeted attacks, and government shootings; (ii) examines the mass media dynamic of school shootings; and (iii) presents a synthesis of the multilevel causes suggested in the research, including those on the individual, community, and social levels. Suggestions for future studies in school shootings are explored.