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Narcissistic symptoms in German school shooters

  • School shooters are often described as narcissistic, but empirical evidence is scant. To provide more reliable and detailed information, we conducted an exploratory study, analyzing police investigation files on seven school shootings in Germany, looking for symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder as defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th ed.; DSM-IV) in witnesses' and offenders' reports and expert psychological evaluations. Three out of four offenders who had been treated for mental disorders prior to the offenses displayed detached symptoms of narcissism, but none was diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder. Of the other three, two displayed narcissistic traits. In one case, the number of symptoms would have justified a diagnosis of narcissistic personality disorder. Offenders showed low and high self-esteem and a range of other mental disorders. Thus, narcissism is not a common characteristic of school shooters, but possibly more frequent than in the general population. This shouldSchool shooters are often described as narcissistic, but empirical evidence is scant. To provide more reliable and detailed information, we conducted an exploratory study, analyzing police investigation files on seven school shootings in Germany, looking for symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder as defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th ed.; DSM-IV) in witnesses' and offenders' reports and expert psychological evaluations. Three out of four offenders who had been treated for mental disorders prior to the offenses displayed detached symptoms of narcissism, but none was diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder. Of the other three, two displayed narcissistic traits. In one case, the number of symptoms would have justified a diagnosis of narcissistic personality disorder. Offenders showed low and high self-esteem and a range of other mental disorders. Thus, narcissism is not a common characteristic of school shooters, but possibly more frequent than in the general population. This should be considered in developing adequate preventive and intervention measures.show moreshow less

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Metadaten
Author:Rebecca BondüORCiDGND, Herbert Scheithauer
URN:urn:nbn:de:kobv:517-opus4-404452
Parent Title (English):Postprints der Universität Potsdam : Humanwissenschaftliche Reihe
Series (Serial Number):Postprints der Universität Potsdam : Humanwissenschaftliche Reihe (392)
Document Type:Postprint
Language:English
Date of first Publication:2018/04/17
Year of Completion:2016
Publishing Institution:Universität Potsdam
Release Date:2018/04/17
Tag:narcissism; personality disorder; rampage; risk factor; school shooting
Issue:392
Pagenumber:16
Source:International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology 59 (2015) Nr. 14, S. 1520–1535 DOI: 10.1177/0306624X14544155
Organizational units:Humanwissenschaftliche Fakultät
Dewey Decimal Classification:3 Sozialwissenschaften / 34 Recht / 340 Recht
Peer Review:Referiert
Publication Way:Open Access
Grantor:Sage
Licence (German):License LogoKeine Nutzungslizenz vergeben - es gilt das deutsche Urheberrecht
Notes extern:Bibliographieeintrag der Originalveröffentlichung/Quelle