Violence, generally, is becoming rampant in our societies escalating to schools and university campuses. Often it has been questioned whether psychologically; violence is swiftly evolving into a career path in itself. It is demonstrated in the home; schools and universities; on the streets and even in the work environment. Professor Michael L. Sulkowski from the Department of Psychology, University of Florida realized that there have been no empirical studies relating to students’ willingness to report violent threats on university campuses even in the presence of bizarre shootings and killings of innocent people. The article under review outlines findings on the first empirical study which has been conducted on this issue.
An Investigation of Students’ Willingness to Report Threats of Violence in Campus Communities
Focus of article
This article delivers research findings relating to students’ willingness to report threats of violence in campus communities. (Sulkowski, 2011). The study was undertaken by Michael Sulkowski from the University of Florida with the objective of extending prior work conducted on college-age populations on the same issue.
A representative sample was drawn from a large Southern University in an effort to implement a scientific methodological approach while making some preliminary findings prior to the actual study. It was discovered that a substantial portion of the population responding to the preliminary inquiry was willing to engage in reporting threats of violence on the campus.
Subsequently, he developed an investigation and reported his findings to highlight student threat regarding frequency; trust in the college support system; campus connectedness; self-efficacy to service; fear of negative evaluation, and the nature of delinquent behaviors observed on campuses. (Sulkowski, 2011).
The researcher further implemented a scientific method and recruited participants for the project after which specific procedures pertaining to data collection techniques were offered. Instrumentation and measurements were developed to analyze data.
Statement of the problem
This was clearly interpreted as the focus was designed. A main concept which the researcher emphatically portrayed was delinquency and how it did affect willingness to report violence. In fact, the problem is that delinquency produced its own psychology of violence. The perpetrator would always be unwilling to report him/herself and members of his culture or gang.
The researcher is convinced that a third of campus crime perpetrators are recognized by their colleagues since their behaviors are obvious. Yet, seldom reports are made to administration for safety of the environment. Also, there have been no empirical studies aimed at resolving this issue from a scientific level. Precisely, the hypothesis integrates several variables which predispose to students’ unwillingness to report violent threats on campus
Methods employed to test Hypothesis
967 participants were selected for the study. All were undergraduates of a Southern University campus. 69% of participants were female; 64% whites; 8% African Americans; 15% Hispanics, 7% Asian and 6% mixed. The selection was derived from 86 academic majors. (Sulkowski, 2011)
The instruments used were an electronic survey applied to 805 students’ participants, while the remaining 162 were evaluated using a research pool technique. In arriving at a sample to conduct the electronic survey 4,000 emails were sent to potential participants. (Sulkowski, 2011)
The results retrieved from instrumentation were measured utilizing scales such as Campus Connectedness; Self Efficacy toward Service; Self Report Delinquency and Threat Reporting Vignettes and Threat Statements. Descriptive statistics were the methods of interpreting and presentation of data by subsequently applying three structural equation models. (Sulkowski, 2011)
Results of Study and Researcher’s Discussion
Conclusions derived from this research indicated that it was of utmost importance for campus administration to develop a positive, supportive violence threat free environment. Delinquent students were the obvious threats to campus culture and thereby were uncooperative with authority in reporting violence on campus. Actually, they were the perpetrators.
In discussing the results Sulkowski reiterated that this was the first empirical study on the phenomenon of reporting violent threats occurring on campus communities. (Sulkowski, 2011). With reference to the Virginia Tec University massacre the time is now for some investigations to be done in understating the issue.
Responding to this unique study the US department of Education and Justice has developed a violence prevention guide which alerts planners and students alike to the necessity of increasing trust, developing interpersonal relationships and fostering pro-social interrelationships between faculty and students. (Sulkowski, 2011).
Relating the topic to someone famous
Inevitably a discussion of this nature cannot be concluded if the Historic Virginia Tech massacre is not mentioned. A student went bizarre and shot colleagues as well as faculty staff. Seung-Hio Cho undoubtedly made himself, the most infamous suicide killer in the world after shooting dead 32 and leaving several wounded. (Michael, 2007)
April 16th 2007 was a day of mourning on that University campus. The hypothesis Sulkowski proved in this study is indicative of students’ unwillingness to report violent threats emerging on a campus community. Perhaps, had there been trust, cohesive interpersonal relationships and fostering of pro-social interrelationships between faculty and students; this situation could have been avoided.
Relationship to major psychological theories
Psychological theories related to violence are pathological conflict, ecological predispositions, inequality syndromes and general systems. They all attempt to offer explanations based on distinct psychosocial elements. (DeKeseredy, 2006). The root causes of any type of violence are often explained by applying bio-cultural variables.( Meyers,2010)
DeKeseredy, W. 2006. Advancing Critical Criminology: Theory and Application. Theories of Violence.
Luo, Michael. 2007. U.S. Rules Made Killer Ineligible to Purchase Gun. New York times, 1.
Myers, D.G. (2010). Psychology (9th ed. in molecules). New York: Worth. ISBN:0-7167-7927.
Sulkowski L.Micheal (2011). An Investigation of Students’ Willingness to Report Threats of Violence in Campus Communities. Psychology of Violence, 1(1). Web.